Kaspersky Lab, an international antivirus software and cybersecurity provider based in Russia, has accused Microsoft of anticompetitive practices. Russian authorities have started an investigation after Kaspersky's complaint.
Why Is Microsoft Accused Of Anticompetitive Behavior?
Kaspersky added that Microsoft has significantly reduced the time period given to independent developers to adapt their antivirus software for the company's latest operating system - Windows 10 - from two months to just six days. This has resulted in many security apps to be flagged as incompatible and then replaced with Microsoft's own Windows Defender.
The Russian Federal Antimonopoly Service is investigating the allegations from Kaspersky. The FAS explains that Microsoft may have violated Part 1, Article 10 of the Federal Law, which regulates protection of competition.
Kaspersky claims that Microsoft used its dominant market position to restrict and eliminate competition.
Investigation By The FAS
Russian authorities say that they want to offer equal opportunities to all companies doing business in the country.
"Since Microsoft itself develops antivirus software — Windows Defender that switches on automatically if third-party software fails to adapt to Windows 10 in due time, such actions lead to unreasonable advantages for Microsoft on the software market. Our task is to ensure equal conditions for all participants on this market," says Anatoly Golomolzin, FAS deputy head.
Microsoft Facing Other Problems With Russian Government
The latest investigation started by Russian agencies is not the only problem that Microsoft is facing in Russia.
In June 2016, Microsoft announced that it is acquiring LinkedIn, a social networking website for professionals. However, LinkedIn will be blocked in Russia as a local court has ruled that the service breaches the country's data protection rules. The ruling came after LinkedIn failed to shift data of users on Russian servers to comply with the country's laws.
Russia's president, Vladimir Putin, is also making a move to push off various foreign software providers from the country. The government sees Microsoft as a major threat as Putin believes that some Microsoft products like Office and Windows can be potentially used by governments of other countries to spy on Russia.
Microsoft is facing difficult times in Russia. The Kaspersky complaint is an addition to Microsoft's woes in the country and if found guilty, Microsoft may to pay huge fines to Russian antitrust agencies.
Microsoft has not issued any statement on Kaspersky's allegations but it is likely that the company will release its official stance over the allegations.