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NortonLifeLock Buys Avira to Expand Into Freemium Antivirus Protection

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(Credit: NortonLifeLock)

NortonLifeLock, the US antivirus provider formerly known as Symantec, is buying rival Avira for $360 million. 

NortonLifeLock is carrying out the merger to accelerate its international expansion in Europe and key emerging markets. At the same time, it wants to expand its product portfolio from paid antivirus into the freemium tier. 

Avira, which is based in Germany, has been offering the freemium option in Avira Free Security, which includes a suite of security tools for Windows PCs and Macs. The software performed strongly in our antivirus testing, but to unlock its full functionality, you’ll have to pay up.  

By buying Avira, NortonLifeLock is also absorbing the German company’s more than 100 million user base, which includes over 1.5 million paying customers.

In contrast, NortonLifeLock has 20.7 million direct paying customers, which helped it bring in $626 million in revenue this past quarter. During the same period, the company added 117,000 new customers. (The company also has another 30 million indirect customers through partner relationships, including PC vendors and telecom service providers.)

“Now with the addition of Avira’s product capabilities and solutions, we can better serve a broader set of consumers with our combined portfolio and a freemium business model,” said NortonLifeLock Chief Product Officer Gagan Singh.

The company plans on keeping the Avira brand too, although the name will be slightly tweaked in the future. “Avira by Norton will stay a leading freemium brand—and Norton and LifeLock will remain NortonLifeLock’s premium security and identity theft protection brands,” a NortonLifeLock rep told PCMag. The company’s cheapest product, Norton AntiVirus Plus, currently starts at $14.99 a year.

“This acquisition will not affect existing Avira or NortonLifeLock subscriptions,” the company added. “Avira customers will continue to enjoy the product and services they know and love. As we begin to integrate our companies, we will approach all decisions thinking customer-first.”

NortonLifeLock is buying the antivirus provider from InvestCorp Technology Partners, which acquired Avira in April for $180 million. Avira’s existing CEO and chief technology officer will both remain on with the newly merged company and join NortonLifeLock’s leadership team. 

The acquisition is slated to close in next year’s first quarter.

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Source: on 2020-12-07 11:03:30

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