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Microsoft Under Investigation In Russia Over Alleged Antivirus Software Abuse

( [email protected] ) Nov 14, 2016 11:50 AM EST
Microsoft has already patched the critical vulnerability of Windows 10 that Google exposed. However, the tech giant has another serious issue to deal with. Microsoft is under investigation by the Russian antitrust authority Federal Antimonopoly Service (FAS). The alleged culprit is its antivirus software Windows Defender. The company is alleged to have violated a federal law. This was initiated by a complaint from the Russian internet security company Kaspersky Lab.
Microsoft's Windows Defender is currently under investigation by the Russian antitrust authority Federal Antimonopoly Service. The tech company is alleged to have abused its position among other antivirus software. (Lasse Havelund via Flickr)

Microsoft has already patched the critical vulnerability of Windows 10 that Google exposed. However, the tech giant has another serious issue to deal with. Microsoft is under investigation by the Russian antitrust authority Federal Antimonopoly Service (FAS). The alleged culprit is its antivirus software Windows Defender. The company is alleged to have violated a federal law. This was initiated by a complaint from the Russian internet security company Kaspersky Lab.

ZDNet reports that Microsoft may be in violation of the Part 1 Article 10 of the Federal Law "On Protection of Competition". The tech company could have abused its position among other antivirus software. The law states that Microsoft is prohibited to occupy dominant positions in the market from engaging in actions that can lead to "preventing, restricting, eliminating competition" and/or "infringing the interests of other persons (economic entities) in business activities or consumers at large".

The investigation came after the Kaspersky Lab pointed out how Microsoft cut down the adapting compatibility of third-party antivirus software for the Windows 10 OS from 2 months to 6 calendar days. Apparently, this abuse in dominance could affect the performance of the antivirus software on the devices. The said software should be made compatible to the operating system of the device used.

FAS' Deputy Head Anatoly Golomolzin explained the issue further. He said that Windows Defender "switches on automatically if the third-party software fails to adapt to Windows 10 in due time". Thus, the user would have to depend on Microsoft's own antivirus software. The FAS pointed out that this gives an unreasonable advantage to the tech company in the antivirus software market. The Federal Antimonopoly Service just wants to make sure that all antivirus software are given fair competition in the said market.

According to the International Business Times UK, Microsoft said in a statement that "Microsoft Russia and Kaspersky Lab have a long history of cooperation in different areas." The company ensured that they are committed to fully complying with the Russian law. Though they are already under investigation, Microsoft revealed that they have not received an official notification from the FAS. The tech giant guaranteed to review it carefully.

The Windows Defender is not the only issue that came out of the Windows 10. Google had exposed the said operating system's critical vulnerabilities last October. Microsoft was not particularly pleased of the said public disclosure by Google. The flaw found in the system was just recently patched by Microsoft.

Tags : Microsoft, Windows 10 update, Kaspersky Lab, Russia