Kaspersky Lab, a cybersecurity firm, has revealed that it has filed antitrust complaints in Europe against Microsoft. The complaints which have been filed with the German Federal Cartel Office and the European Commission allege that the Redmond, Washington-based software giant used its computer operating system dominance to boost the fortunes of its antivirus software, Windows Defender, to the detriment of 3rd-party antivirus software vendors.
“We see clearly … that Microsoft uses its dominant position in the computer operating system (OS) market to fiercely promote its own — inferior — security software (Windows Defender) at the expense of users’ previously self-chosen security solution,” Kaspersky’s chief executive officer, Eugene Kaspersky, wrote in an online posting.
The CEO added that the methods employed by Microsoft to promote its Defender antivirus software were questionable and the cybersecurity firm wanted the anti-competition authorities to know that. Officials at Kaspersky also say that Microsoft has made it impossible for users to uninstall Windows Defender completely.
Kaspersky also alleges that the Windows 10 upgrade may have uninstalled drivers and thereby invalidated antivirus applications that was already installed on computers. The Moscow, Russia-based further adds that the world’s largest software company was not offering vendors of third party softwares enough time to get their products certified in light of the new features that Windows 10 has been released with.
European competition laws
In its defense Microsoft refuted the allegations adding that it was in compliance with the competition laws in Europe. A spokesperson for the software giant pointed that the primary objective of the company was to ensure its customers were protected. The spokesperson revealed that Microsoft regularly consults with vendors of anti-malware and takes their feedback seriously.
Kaspersky’s first threat to file a complaint with the EC was announced last year. Also in November last year a complaint was filed against Microsoft by the cybersecurity firm in Russia. This led to the Russian Federal Antimonopoly Service initiating an investigation. Earlier in the year, it had also seemed like Kaspersky was walking back the threat after some discussions it held with Microsoft.
Windows Media Player
This is not the first time that Microsoft is facing an anti-trust suit in the European Union. The software giant spent more than ten years under European Union investigations over accusations of bundling an additional product, Windows Media Player, in the Windows operating system. Microsoft ended up paying fines of about $2.5 billion in 2013.