Kaspersky Lab has applied to the European Commission and the German Federal Cartel Office seeking their consideration of Microsoft’s actions with regards to compliance with the respective articles of the antitrust legislation, concerning abuse of its dominant position in the market for computer operating systems and unfair competition in the market for solutions for protecting against computer threats.
With the release of Windows 10, Microsoft started to (i) create obstacles to competing manufacturers of security solutions, and (ii) introduce different ways of pushing users to forgo third-party software in favor of its own Windows Defender. These actions by Microsoft lead to (i) a lower level of protection for users, (ii) a limitation on their right to choose, and (iii) financial losses both for users and security solutions manufacturers.
Kaspersky Lab has asked the respective agencies to review Microsoft’s compliance with competition law, including concerning the following:
Kaspersky Lab believes that all of the above limits freedom of choice for users, and not only creates inconvenience for them when using third-party programs on their devices but also reduces their level of security. A user should be able to receive reliable information regarding their protection and use the programs they choose without impediment.
In addition, there is a danger for users caused by the lack of equal opportunities for all manufacturers of security solutions. Healthy competition stimulates companies to create better quality security solutions that positively impact on the industry in general and the protection of users in particular. A variety of security solutions on the market allows people to choose the best and makes bypassing protection by cyber criminals more difficult.
According to Professor and Doctor of Economics, Andrei Shastitko, who made an economics investigation for this case by request of Kaspersky Lab: "The analysis of the scenario of the circulation of OSs and AV programs shows that Microsoft’s actions directed at squeezing out other manufacturers from the AV software market by way of limiting access to an essential facility and exploiting the cognitive biases of users will likely lead to the realization of scenarios with negative consequences for the public, both in static and dynamic terms.”
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