Kaspersky drops antivirus antitrust complaints against Microsoft

Antivirus manufacturer Kaspersky Lab withdrew antitrust complaints in the Federal Antimonopoly Service of Russian Federation and will withdraw similar complaints to the European Commission and to Germany's Federal Cartel Office, the firms announced Thursday.

However, on Thursday Kaspersky Lab said it was satisfied that Microsoft had addressed its complaints, and it was withdrawing the antitrust filings made in Berlin and Brussels.

All changes will be applied to the Windows 10 Fall Creators Update, and Mochola said that his company is so elated that it's withdrawing its official complaint against Microsoft.

Additionally, Microsoft said it intends to work closely with AV vendors to help them with compatibility issues before future Windows updates are rolled out.

It has also promised to give more OEM-like visibility to makers of security software to give them time to update their software ahead of public release.

To placate Kaspersky, Microsoft will allow AV products to "use their own alerts and notifications to renew antivirus products before and after they have expired". This means customers can expect we will have worked through compatibility issues with AV providers before offering the update to customers running that AV.

The Russian antivirus firm had previously argued that Microsoft was unfairly promoting the use of Windows Defender over third party security software.

We have modified how Windows will inform users when their antivirus application has expired and is no longer protecting them.

"Our top priority is and always will be to protect our customers with security innovations for the Windows platform, increase our customers' pre- and post-breach security stance, and provide a platform that offers choice", said Rob Lefferts, Partner Director, Windows Enterprise and Security. The toast notification is now replaced with a persistent notification, which will remain on the screen until the user chooses to either renew the security solutions' license or rely on another security solution.

It added that the two companies had held "fruitful discussions" in recent months about how "antivirus services should operate in the Windows ecosystem to help ensure a safe environment for Windows users". The crux of Kaspersky's complaint is the way Microsoft was forcing its own Windows Defender AV software on Windows 10 users - Windows Defender is built into the very fabric of Windows 10 - while disabling existing third-party AV software that doesn't yet fit Microsoft's compatibility criteria.

Mochola said Kaspersky Lab has a "long history of cooperation" with Microsoft and that the promised changes will make the cyber security market healthier, resulting in better protection for all users.

"Customers deserve the best and most up-to-date protection possible".

We are grateful Microsoft is addressing these issues completely, making sure that both partnerships and diversity are preserved on the market for both user and industry benefit....

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