Kaspersky files antitrust complaints against Microsoft in Europe

(Reuters) - Russian security software maker Kaspersky Lab has filed antitrust complaints against Microsoft with the European Commission and the German federal cartel office, it said in a statement on Tuesday.

An employee works near screens in the virus lab at the headquarters of Russian cyber security company Kaspersky Labs in Moscow July 29, 2013. REUTERS/Sergei Karpukhin

Kaspersky Lab said Microsoft was abusing its dominance in the PC operating system market, creating obstacles for independent software security vendors by distributing its own Defender anti-virus software with the ubiquitous Windows operating system.

Microsoft built the anti virus software into Windows, saying this protected users but Kaspersky said it was anti-competitive.

Microsoft said in a statement on Tuesday that it had not violated any laws.

“Microsoft’s primary objective is to keep customers protected,” the company said in an emailed statement. “We are confident that the security features of Windows 10 comply with competition laws. And we will answer any questions regulators may have.”

Kaspersky filed the complaints after the two companies failed to resolve their differences through private negotiations.

The Moscow-based company said in a statement that Microsoft’s action had resulted in “a lower level of protection for users, a limitation on their right to choose and financial losses both for users and security solutions manufacturers.”

Kaspersky in November threatened to complain to the European Commission but in April said it would hold off because Microsoft had agreed to make some changes.

Microsoft said it had “taken a number of steps” to address Kaspersky’s concerns, including offering several months ago to set up a meeting between executives of both companies.

“That meeting has not yet taken place,” Microsoft said.

The European Commission confirmed it had received Kaspersky’s complaint without giving further details.

Reporting by Georgina Prodhan in London, Robert-Jan Bartunek in Brussels and Jim Finkle in Toronto,; additional reporting by Foo Yun Chee; Editing by Jonathan Oatis and Andrew Hay