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AAntivirus customers will be entitled to a refund if their subscriptions are automatically renewed after investigation by the competition watchdog, reports Matthew Champ.
The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) had threatened to sue the American company Norton for an alleged failure to provide information for its investigation into the antivirus sector.
The regulator said it would withdraw its application to the High Court after receiving assurances from Norton it would change its subscription practices.
Norton will have to offer refunds to current and future customers who have renewed their subscriptions to its anti-virus packages, backdated to 2020.
The CMA had criticized antivirus software vendors for automatically renewing payments and increasing their prices for customers who may no longer want or need their product.
Norton’s commitments will allow customers to request refunds for the remaining months of their contract, while Norton will agree to alert customers who have stopped using their product on how to turn off automatic renewals.
Andrea Coscelli, Managing Director of CMA, said: “The changes Norton has committed to as a result of our action will make it easier for customers to get their money back if their contract is renewed when they don’t want it.
Mr Coscelli said he was glad the deal meant the regulator would not have to sue Norton, but added: “Businesses should have no doubts that we are prepared to take this step at the future, if they do not provide the information that we must continue our investigations.
Norton has been contacted for comment.