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Two of the most prominent global names in consumer cyber security and antivirus protection, NortonLifeLock and Avast – which came together in an $8bn deal in 2021 – have revealed their new corporate identity following the completion of their merger in September 2022.
The newly formed Gen Digital, Gen for short, unites multiple consumer cyber brands, including Norton, Avast, LifeLock, Avira, AVG, CCleaner and ReputationDefender, and will be headquartered jointly in Tempe, Arizona, in the US, and the Czech capital Prague.
Gen plans to use its new branding to “further accelerate the company’s innovation and pave the way for the future of digital empowerment”.
Gen CEO Vincent Pilette, who joined NortonLifeLock in 2019 when it was still under the Symantec umbrella, said: “Today, five billion people around the world are online; digital life is life. We’re all a part of a new generation, regardless of age. It’s not Gen X, Y or Z, it’s Generation Digital.
“Gen’s family of trusted brands has a heritage of protecting the first digital generations and is united by a shared purpose to power digital freedom for the next generation of our digital lives.”
Former Avast CEO and newly appointed Gen president Ondrej Vlcek added: “Our day-to-day life is almost entirely connected; we bank, shop, learn, work and connect online.
“While the advancement of technology has brought conveniences and connections we couldn’t have imagined, it also brings added complexities and new types of threats.
Vincent Pilette, Gen
“At Gen, we’re committed to bringing our passion, expertise and global presence together to innovatively tackle these challenges and ultimately power digital freedom for everyone,” he said.
When the merger was initially announced in 2021, analysts said NortonLifeLock was keen to expand its total addressable market. At the time, Omdia’s managing principal analyst, Eric Parizo, told Computer Weekly’s sister title SearchSecurity that following the sale of the Symantec enterprise business, its growth options had been “somewhat limited”, but that in teaming with Avast, it expanded its footprint considerably, most notably in European markets.
Dave Gruber, principal analyst at Enterprise Strategy Group (ESG), a TechTarget organisation, added that competitive forces in the consumer antivirus market were also piling the pressure on both companies – particularly given Microsoft’s focus on its onboard Windows Defender proposition.
The merger had been referred to the UK’s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) on the basis that it could potentially result in a substantial lessening of competition within the UK market for consumer security products and services.
In its final report on the matter, which approved the deal, the CMA acknowledged that while both NortonLifeLock and Avast had a strong position in this market and were close competitors with one another, they also faced competitive constraints on both their free and paid-for offerings from a range of suppliers, including the likes of Bitdefender, Eset, F-Secure, Kaspersky, Malwarebytes, Nord and Trend Micro.
It noted, in particular, the increasing use of Microsoft Defender, and Microsoft’s status as both a provider of consumer cyber security products and the provider of the operating systems on which NortonLifeLock’s and Avast’s products run.
It said that as such, the merger was unlikely to have a negative effect on competition in the UK.
Read more about consumer cyber security
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