Software

Norton Sued for Withholding Potentially Shady Subscription Renewal Practices

Written by Bill Toulas
Last updated March 24, 2021

UK’s competition watchdog, the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA), is suing Norton, the popular anti-virus product developer, for failure to share the requested details about how its subscription renewal system works.

According to a press release by the CMA, the agency has received multiple reports from consumers that blame Norton for automatically renewing contracts and forcing them to cover the costs even though they no longer needed or wanted to continue using the firm’s software products.

To investigate these reports, the CMA requested Norton to hand over key information about how the renewal system works, but the software developer has failed to comply with the request. The CMA considers this to be a breach of Norton’s legal obligations, so the only way to obtain the requested information is to drag the firm in court.

As Andrea Coscelli, Chief Executive at CMA stated:

It is completely unacceptable that a leading anti-virus software firm has refused to supply all the information we asked for, which is why we’re taking the firm to court. Our unprecedented decision in this case reflects the serious impact of Norton’s refusal, which is delaying a CMA investigation intended to protect UK consumers.

It is indeed surprising to see Norton refusing to take a transparent approach and instead chooses a path that will result in great amounts of negative publicity, yet here we are. For history, CMA asked for the following information:

Norton hasn’t made any official announcements or comments on the legal action that CMA has taken against them, so we don’t know where they stand on the matter right now. We will update this piece once the security software maker shares a comment with us.

Update on March 24, 2021

A Norton spokesperson has shared the following statement:

NORTONLIFELOCK IS COOPERATING WITH THIS ONGOING INVESTIGATION BY THE COMPETITION AND MARKETS AUTHORITY (CMA). WE TAKE THESE CLAIMS SERIOUSLY AND REMAIN CONFIDENT THAT OUR BUSINESS PRACTICES AND TERMS AND CONDITIONS ARE FAIR AND COMPLIANT WITH UK CONSUMER LAW. WE LOOK FORWARD TO RESOLVING THIS MATTER.



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