The UK`s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) on Friday approved the $8.1 billion merger between cybersecurity companies NortonLifeLock and Avast.
NortonLifeLock and Avast both offer cyber safety software to consumers under a variety of different brands, like antivirus software, privacy software (such as VPNs) and identity protection software.
The companies announced plans to merge in a $8.1 billion deal in August 2021.
“After reviewing the evidence in an in-depth review, we are now satisfied that this deal won`t worsen the options available to consumers. As such, we have concluded that the deal can go ahead,” said Kirstin Baker, chair of the CMA inquiry group.
In its initial Phase 1 investigation, the CMA concluded that the deal raised a realistic prospect of a substantial lessening of competition, and referred the merger for an in-depth Phase 2 investigation to consider those concerns in more detail.
The CMA provisionally concluded in August that the deal does not substantially reduce competition in the UK and may not be expected to do so in the future.
The UK market watchdog also found that security applications provided by Microsoft, which holds a unique position in the market as the owner of the Windows operating system, offer increasingly important alternatives for consumers.
In recent years, Microsoft has improved its built-in, bundled security application so that it now offers protection which is as good as many of the products offered by specialist suppliers.
In addition, applications recently launched by Microsoft for its customers bring its cyber safety offering closer to those of the merging businesses and are likely to further strengthen Microsoft as a competitor going forward, the CMA added.