Agree­ment brings more op­por­tu­ni­ties for soft­ware maker

The Star Early Edition - - INTERNATIONAL - Dina Bass

MI­CROSOFT and Kasper­sky Lab have set­tled a dis­pute that led to an­titrust com­plaints in Europe and an in­ves­ti­ga­tion in Rus­sia.

As part of the agree­ment, Mi­crosoft will make changes to the next up­date of Win­dows this au­tumn.

The set­tle­ment comes two months af­ter Kasper­sky, a maker of anti-virus soft­ware, com­plained to Euro­pean an­titrust reg­u­la­tors that Mi­crosoft was favour­ing its own se­cu­rity soft­ware, dis­ad­van­tag­ing other providers.

Mi­crosoft will give anti-virus part­ners greater vis­i­bil­ity when new ver­sions of Win­dows will be re­leased and let them use their own alerts and no­ti­fi­ca­tions to tell cus­tomers to re­new prod­ucts, the Red­mond, Wash­ing­ton-based com­pany said in a blog post. Win­dows will also change how it no­ti­fies users of ex­pi­ra­tions, mov­ing from an alert that could be ig­nored to one that per­sists un­til the user takes ac­tion.

The changes will af­fect Win­dows up­dates re­leased glob­ally.

“We ap­pre­ci­ate the feed­back and con­tin­ued di­a­logue with our part­ners, and are pleased to have found com­mon ground with Kasper­sky Lab on the com­plaints raised in Rus­sia and Europe,” Rob Lef­ferts, part­ner di­rec­tor, Win­dows En­ter­prise and Se­cu­rity, said.

Kasper­sky had told reg­u­la­tors in Europe and Rus­sia that Mi­crosoft was preventing anti-virus soft­ware mak­ers from com­pet­ing on an equal foot­ing with Mi­crosoft’s prod­ucts.

It claimed Mi­crosoft was not giv­ing them enough time to adapt their prod­ucts to Win­dows up­dates and hin­dered the abil­ity to down­load or re­new third-party se­cu­rity pro­grams.

The for­mal com­plaint to EU and Ger­man an­titrust reg­u­la­tors in June, said “hur­dles” cre­ated by Mi­crosoft limit con­sumer choice and drive up the costs.

Rus­sia’s Fed­eral Anti-mo­nop­oly Ser­vice (FAS) said in Novem­ber 2016 that it had opened a case against Mi­crosoft over an al­leged abuse of mar­ket dom­i­nance.

Dead­lines

The in­quiry be­gan af­ter Moscow-based Kasper­sky com­plained that Mi­crosoft re­duced dead­lines for anti-virus mak­ers to ad­just to its soft­ware.

“Kasper­sky Lab con­firms that all of its con­cerns re­gard­ing the un­fair com­pe­ti­tion law, raised with the Fed­eral Anti-mo­nop­oly Ser­vice of Rus­sia, have been ad­dressed,” the com­pany said.

“The com­pany is sat­is­fied with the pro­posed ap­proach by Mi­crosoft to ad­dress the warn­ings is­sued by the FAS, and its im­ple­men­ta­tion road map.

“Kasper­sky Lab is also tak­ing nec­es­sary steps to with­draw its fil­ings to the Euro­pean Com­mis­sion and to Ger­many’s Fed­eral Car­tel Of­fice, stat­ing that it has no more claims for Mi­crosoft to ad­dress,” it said. – Bloomberg

The ‘hur­dles’ cre­ated by Mi­crosoft lim­ited con­sumer choice and drove up the costs.

PHOTO: AP

Mi­crosoft says it held a fo­rum last month with part­ners on anti-virus, and made progress on some of the is­sues of con­cern.

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