The Russian cybersecurity firm says Microsoft is favoring its own Windows Defender tool at the expense of independent antivirus software.
Kaspersky Lab has filed antitrust complaints against Microsoft in Europe, accusing the company of making it more difficult to run Kaspersky antivirus software in Windows 10 and favoring a Microsoft-built alternative.
Eugene Kaspersky, co-founder of the Russian cybersecurity firm, said Tuesday that the company had recently filed antitrust complaints with the European Commission and Germany’s Federal Cartel Office. Kaspersky had raised the issue with Russia’s antitrust regulator in November.
“We see clearly – and are ready to prove – that Microsoft uses its dominant position in the computer operating system market to fiercely promote its own – inferior – security software,” Kaspersky said.
In many cases, Kaspersky says, customers who update their operating system to Windows 10 from older versions find that their Kaspersky antivirus tools have been deleted or disabled. The company also criticized Microsoft for making it impossible to remove Windows Defender, Microsoft’s own antivirus software, in some editions of Windows.
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In a statement, Microsoft said its aim was to protect Windows users, and “we are confident that the security features of Windows 10 comply with competition laws.”
Microsoft said it had reached out to Kaspersky months ago to arrange a meeting between executives to address the concerns, but that gathering has not taken place.
Following Kaspersky’s complaint in Russia, regulators there held hearings on Microsoft’s antivirus policies in Windows 10. They haven’t reached a conclusion.
The latest complaints don’t necessarily indicate that European Union or German regulators will take up an investigation of Microsoft’s practices.
The EU has been a tough overseer of Microsoft over the years, fining the company about $733 million in 2013 for violating a pledge to gives Windows users a clear option to use web browsers built by other companies.
This year, an EU data collection watchdog criticized what it said was a lack of transparency in the data collection practices of Windows 10.