Microsoft Targeted by Kaspersky Antitrust Complaint to EU

Updated on
  • Russian company files antitrust complaint with EU, Germany
  • Microsoft says it will answer any questions from regulators

Kaspersky Lab told European antitrust regulators that Microsoft Corp. prevents makers of security software from competing on equal footing with products built into the U.S. company’s Windows operating system.

Kaspersky sent a formal complaint to European Union and German antitrust regulators, saying “hurdles” created by Microsoft limit consumer choice and drive up the cost of security software.

"With the release of Windows 10, Microsoft started to create obstacles to competing manufacturers of security solutions, and introduce different ways of pushing users to forgo third-party software in favor of its own Windows Defender," Moscow-based Kaspersky said in a statement.

Microsoft spent more than a decade under EU investigation, paying fines totaling of 2.24 billion euros ($2.5 billion) in four installments ending in 2013. Regulators found it violated EU competition rules by bundling an extra product -- a media player -- with the Windows software that dominated computer desktops.

Redmond, Washington-based Microsoft said that it will answer any questions regulators might have about the Kaspersky complaint.

The company’s "primary objective is to keep customers protected," Microsoft said in a statement. It remains "confident that the security features of Windows 10 comply with competition laws."

“We reached out directly to Kaspersky a number of months ago offering to meet directly at an executive level to better understand their concerns, but that meeting has not yet taken place,” Microsoft said.

Kaspersky asked the European authorities to probe whether Microsoft hinders the ability to download third-party software, reducing users’ level of protection, and giving vendors too little time to adapt products to Windows updates.

— With assistance by Stephanie Bodoni

(Updates with expanded Microsoft statement in seventh paragraph.)
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