Shares in cyber security giant Avast climbed over 40 per cent this afternoon after the competition watchdog provisionally cleared NortonLifeLock’s $8.6bn (£7.1bn) acquisition of the firm.
The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) said its in-depth investigation concluded that the deal does not raise competition concerns in the UK, stating that the supply of cyber safety software to consumers was a rapidly evolving space, both in the paid-for and free service sphere.
The watchdog found that a merged firm would continue to face significant competition, including from rivals like McAfee.
The CMA added that security applications provided by Microsoft, which owns the Windows operating system, brings an increasingly important alternative for consumers.
Commenting on the decision, chair of the CMA inquiry group Kirstin Baker said: “Millions of people across the UK rely on cyber safety services to keep them safe online.
After gathering further information from the companies involved and other industry players, we are currently satisfied that this deal won’t worsen the options available to consumers. As such, we have provisionally concluded that the deal can go ahead.”
The combined business with the Prague-based Avast would serve more than 500m cybersecurity customers.
Shares in US-based NortonLifeLock climbed five per cent yesterday.