Britain’s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has formally approved the proposed $8.1 billion merger between cybersecurity giants NortonLifeLock and Avast, a month after the deal was tentatively given the green light.
The merger has been at stake since the plans were first revealed in August. the CMA unveiled in March that it was investigating and stated that the combination of two closely aligned market-leading rivals raised significant competition concerns. And this is true, as both companies are among the top players in cybersecurity, with products that include antivirus, identity protection, VPNs, and more.
Last month, the CMA took a slightly different tone, stating that the merger did in fact raise no competition concerns in the UK, citing Microsoft’s growing range of cybersecurity products as one reason. Indeed, Microsoft has strengthened its cybersecurity offering under the Defender brand for both consumers and enterprises – earlier this summer, the company launched Microsoft Defender for individuals on all major desktop and mobile platforms, while also a standalone version launched from Microsoft Defender for Business.
According to the CMA, these products, along with services from rivals like McAfee, the cybersecurity expert, have made everyone less dependent on NortonLifeLock or Avast.
“In recent years, Microsoft has improved its built-in, bundled security application so that it now offers protection that is as good as many of the products offered by specialized vendors,” the CMA said. wrote in his final review today. “In addition, Microsoft’s recently launched applications for its customers bring cybersecurity offerings closer to those of the merging companies and are likely to further strengthen Microsoft as a competitor in the future.”