To lead in the antivirus market, NortonLifeLock is acquiring free antivirus provider Avast for over $8 billion.
The merger promises to create a mega IT security brand devoted to protecting half a billion consumers from both companies. It also occurs months after NortonLifeLock bought up Avira, another free antivirus provider.
“With this combination, we can strengthen our Cyber Safety platform and make it available to more than 500 million users,” said NortonLifeLock CEO Vincent Pilette. “We will also have the ability to further accelerate innovation to transform Cyber Safety.”
The board of Avast also agreed to the acquisition, which will result in a combined company pulling in $3.5 billion in annual revenue. “Through our well-established brands, greater geographic diversification and access to a larger global user base, the combined businesses will be poised to access the significant growth opportunity that exists worldwide,” said Avast CEO Ondřej Vlček.
The investor presentation notes the combined company is hoping to tap a market of 5 billion internet users. Another focus is to develop products toward small businesses.
NortonLifeLock, which was previously known as Symantec, has been selling paid security and anti-identity theft products while Avast has been offering both free and paid antivirus software. According to the investor presentation, the merger “combines Avast’s strength in privacy and NortonLifeLock’s strength in identity, creating a broad and complementary product portfolio, beyond core security and towards adjacent trust-based solutions.”
That said, the presentation doesn’t lay out specific product plans. But don’t be surprised if NortonLifeLock begins offering Avast products and vice-versa.
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What the new company will be called remains unclear. But it’ll operate through dual headquarters at NortonLifeLock’s offices in Arizona and Avast’s operation in the Czech Republic. The deal is expected to close mid-2022, per regulatory approval. Assuming the merger goes through, Avast’s CEO will become NortonLifeLock’s new president.