Microsoft is under fire over a rival’s claims that it is abusing its market dominance to push its own-brand Windows Defender antivirus onto consumers.
Russian security company Kaspersky has filed a fresh official antitrust complaint with the European Commission and Germany’s Federal Cartel Office, alleging that Redmond is using Windows’ substantial install base to promote its own security products over those of competitors.
“We see clearly – and are ready to prove – 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 Lab founder and CEO Eugene Kaspersky wrote in a blog post yesterday.
“Such promotion is conducted using questionable methods, and we want to bring these methods to the attention of the anti-competition authorities.”
Microsoft said in response that it is deeply committed to its users’ security, and that it is eager to work with third-party vendors to resolve any conflicts.
“Microsoft’s primary objective is to keep customers protected and we are confident that the security features of Windows 10 comply with competition laws,” the company said in a statement.
“We’re always interested in feedback from other companies and we engage deeply with anti-malware 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.”
This is the second such complaint the security vendor has filed against Microsoft, the first one filed in Russia last November. According to the CEO, while a decision has not been reached by Russia’s Federal Antimonopoly Service, the complaint did result in Microsoft fixing some of the issues that Kaspersky raised.
However, these changes have not been enough for Kaspersky, which claimed that Microsoft is still engaging in tactics such as crippling its products, restricting its advertising ability and even advising users to uninstall third-party anti-virus software.
“Remember,” Kaspersky wrote: “the only folks who gain unequivocally if there is a monopoly in the security products market are cybercriminals. They’d love nothing more than to be able to concentrate on trying to out-smart the single security solution of a monopolist.”