UK CMA approves $8.1 billion merger of NortonLifeLock and Avast
The CMA revealed in March that it was launching an investigation, saying that combining two closely-knit market-leading rivals would raise significant competition concerns. This is true because both companies are major players in the cybersecurity space, with products that cover antivirus, identity protection, VPNs, and more.
Last month, the CMA took a somewhat different tone, stating that the merger did not in fact raise competition issues in the UK, citingMicrosoftGrowing cybersecurity offerings as one reason. In fact, Microsoft has been beefing up its Defender-branded cybersecurity offerings for consumers and businesses — earlier this summer, the company rolled out Microsoft Defender on all major desktop and mobile platforms, while it also launched a standalone version Microsoft Defender for Business.
Those products, along with services from rivals like cybersecurity stalwart McAfee, mean everyone’s reliance on NortonLifeLock or Avast has been reduced, according to the CMA.
“Microsoft has improved its built-in, bundled security applications in recent years so that it now provides protection as good as many products from specialist vendors,” the CMA wrote in today’s final assessment. “Additionally, Microsoft’s recent rollout of applications for its customers brings its cybersecurity offerings closer to those of the merged enterprise and has the potential to further strengthen Microsoft’s position as a future competitor.”