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UK Watchdog Concerned Over NortonLifeLock’s $8B Avast Deal

 |  March 16, 2022

The UK competition regulator has raised concerns that an $8bn merger between the US’s NortonLifeLock and the London-listed Avast cyber security companies could reduce competition and raise prices for customers, reported Financial Times.

The cash-and-stock deal, announced in August, had valued the London-listed Avast at between $8.1bn and $8.6bn at the time and was intended to create a business selling online security software to half a billion customers.

But the Competition and Markets Authority on Wednesday warned that the proposed merger could reduce choices for customers, ultimately raising prices because of the lack of significant rivals.

“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,” said David Stewart, executive director of the CMA. 

The watchdog has now requested the companies to address these concerns to avoid an in-depth investigation, which could delay the merger to the middle of 2022, or scuttle it altogether.

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