Kaspersky Lab filed anti-trust complaints against Microsoft with the European Commission and the German Federal Cartel Office, after filing suit in late 2016 with Russia’s Federal Antimonopoly Service (FAS).
Eugene Kaspersky, co-founder of the Russian security firm, said Microsoft is turning to unfair tactics to force users to stick with Windows Defender, the default antivirus in Windows 10.
Kaspersky accused the Redmond-based software giant of removing third-party antivirus when upgrading to Windows 10, using its dominant position to promote its own security product.
“Microsoft’s antivirus is hardwired into all versions of Windows 10 for home users: it’s impossible to turn it off completely, impossible to delete. Until recently no one asked you if you needed it or not. There was a time when, even if you used a different security solution, Microsoft’s own AV all the same periodically ran scans,” Kaspersky said in a blog post.
“Such restriction is applied only to antiviruses — with which Microsoft has been trying to compete (and not doing very well at) for years. But in previous (pre-10) versions of Windows there were no such special measures. Thus, it looks like, after years with no success (in competing with other antiviruses), Microsoft has resorted to the use of alternative, OS-empowered (in our view – underhand) tactics,” he said.
Microsoft not only removes third-party antivirus products from Windows when the upgrade is performed but the company is not giving vendors enough time to prepare their security software for new versions of Windows. And this is one of the reasons they are eventually blocked when the upgrade is performed, he said.
Microsoft said it does not infringe competition rules and it’s willing to work with antitrust bodies on addressing all these claims.