UK watchdog concerned over NortonLifeLock's purchase of Avast

NortonLifeLock's $8,6 billion purchase of Avast raises competition concerns, the Competition and Markets Authority said.

"NortonLifeLock's proposed purchase of Avast could lead to a reduction in competition in the UK and ultimately a worse deal for consumers when looking for cyber safety software," David Stewart, CMA Executive Director, said.

Unless the companies can offer a clear-cut solution to address concerns, the CMA intends to conduct an in-depth phase 2 investigation.

NortonLifeLock and Avast both offer cyber safety software to consumers under various brands. Products include antivirus software, privacy software, such as VPNs, and identity protection software.

The UK competition watchdog is concerned that the proposed deal could lead to UK consumers getting a worse deal when looking for cyber safety software in the future.

According to Reuters, NortonLifeLock called the CMA's decision surprising. Avast said the deal "will only benefit consumers in the UK."

The investigation would delay the completion of the deal, which is now expected to close in mid-to-late 2022 and not April 4 as expected.

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