UK’s competition regulator finally cleared NortonLifeLock’s acquisition of British rival Avast, saying the cybersecurity software market would remain competitive after the $8.6 billion merger of the two firms.
The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) confirmed its provisional decision to allow the deal last month, removing the final major hurdle after it had received the green light in the United States, Germany, and Spain.
UK’s CMA said the merged firm would face significant competition from McAfee and the other smaller firms. At the same time, software titan Microsoft’s security software was deemed as good as that offered by specialist providers by the group.
NortonLifeLock said after the provisional decision that it expected to close the deal this month.
In a statement, Kirstin Baker, the chair of the CMA inquiry group, said after reviewing the evidence in-depth, they were satisfied that the acquisition won’t worsen the options available to customers.
The merger was hanging in the balance since the two companies announced their plans in August 2021, when the CMA revealed in March 2022 that it would be opening an investigation as the merging of two cybersecurity giants raised competition concerns.
The two firms offer a range of security software products, spanning antivirus, identity protection, and VPNs. UK’s CMA noted at that time that the two firms were “close competitors” with “few other significant rivals.”