Kaspersky Labs calls Microsoft 'monopolist' after allegedly disabling anti-virus program

Authorities ask "Microsoft to stop misleading and misinforming" all users and encourages to engage in a healthy, level playing field.

kaspersky labs

Update: A Microsoft spokesperson has issued a statement IBTimes Singapore which states: "Microsoft's primary objective is to keep customers protected and we are confident that the security features of Windows 10 comply with competition laws. We're always interested in feedback from other companies and we engage deeply with antimalware vendors and have taken a number of steps to address their feedback. 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".

Original story: Kaspersky Labs is pursuing a complaint against Microsoft at the European anti-competition authorities to address questionable approaches of the company when it comes to promoting its own product. The company chief executive officer, Eugene Kaspersky, accused Microsoft of disabling its anti-virus programs through its questionable means, calling the software company "monopolist".

Disappearing anti-virus program

Kaspersky Labs turns to the European Commission and German Federal Cartel Office to lodge complaints against Microsoft and to look into the defendant's dubious method in using its dominant position. Microsoft is allegedly promoting its own security software, the Windows Defender, at Kaspersky Anti-virus' expense.

Among other instances, Kaspersky cited the disappearance of a user's Kaspersky Anti-virus after upgrading to Windows 10. Kaspersky emphasises the importance of lobbying the freedom of its consumers to choose which anti-virus program to invest their trust on.

"We have users – hundreds of millions thereof all around the world. These folks trust us and depend on us to protect their data. They expect only the highest level of protection – that's why they chose us", writes Kaspersky on its blog. "And it's namely the right of these folks to choose exactly what they want that we're trying to protect".

The executive asks "Microsoft to stop misleading and misinforming" all users and encourages to engage in a healthy, level playing field. As of the press time, Microsoft has not released any official statement yet.

Previous complaints

Late 2016, Kaspersky Lab also filed a separate complaint at the Russian Federal Antimonopoly Service (FAS) against the software company for infringing a couple of its anti-trust legislation. Some of the previous complaints that have been solved now relate to the ways of Microsoft's promotion of Windows Defender at the expense of independent anti-virus developers.

Microsoft was allegedly misleading users of their PC's security status and directing them to uninstall existing anti-virus program to activate Windows Defender. Also, Kaspersky Labs accused Microsoft of withholding the expiration warnings of independent anti-virus developers; this led to the expiration of the program to which Microsoft "secretly" turns on its own Windows Defender.

This article was first published on June 7, 2017