Monday, June 29, 2015

Avira Wins Court Order to Stop Freemium.com From Misleading Consumers with Ad-Ware and Unwanted Downloads

Court Judgment Sets Legal Precedent; Gamers Rejoice As Antivirus Company Stands Up for Consumer Rights

Tettnang, Germany --- June 29, 2015 – Internet security expert Avira today announced it has won a court order against Freemium.com, a company funded by media giant ProSiebenSat.1 Media AG. The court judgment allows Avira’s antivirus software to continue to warn its customers of potentially unwanted application downloads that come bundled with popular games and toolbars published by Freemium.com and other download sites.

The court order sets a legal precedent for how Internet security companies like Avira can protect consumers from potential ad-ware injection, malware, and unintended downloads introduced by installer companies like Freemium.

One of Freemium’s major investors, ProSiebenSat.1 Media AG, hosts a suite of gaming sites and download sites, as well as Axel Springer’s Computerbild.de download portal, which all use Freemium’s installer software to earn money on the downloads of products they offer. Avira’s antivirus software detects and flags unintended downloads with a safety warning, so Freemium filed a cease-and-desist letter against Avira GmbH claiming anti-competitive practices, and demanding that Avira should not be allowed to block the downloads.

The courts disagreed.

According to the terms of the legal judgment, Avira’s antivirus software is allowed to continue to provide a safety notice flagging these downloads as ‘potentially unwanted applications’ (PUA), in keeping with Avira’s security policies. Freemium was denied its request for a cease-and-desist and, as the losing party, was ordered to pay all court costs.

“This ruling establishes a major legal milestone in the fight against misleading consumers into unintentionally installing unwanted software onto their computers,” said Travis Witteveen, CEO of Avira GmbH. “Earlier this year we established clear guidelines defining unethical software behaviour, and defining what our security software will block. We believe in ‘freemium’ and advertising-supported business models, however they must remain transparent and ethical in their implementation.”

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Media Contacts:

Rocket Science PR, for Avira
Rich Mullikin, APR
Tel: +1 415 464 8110 x216
Mobile: +1 925 354 7444
Email: rich@rocketscience.com

About Avira

Avira protects people in the connected world – enabling everyone to manage, secure, and improve their digital lives. The Avira umbrella covers a portfolio of security and performance applications for Windows, Android, Mac, and iOS. In addition, the reach of our protective technologies extends through OEM partnerships. Our security solutions consistently achieve best-in-class results in independent tests for detection, performance, and usability. Avira is a privately-owned company that employs 500 people. Its headquarters are near Lake Constance, in Tettnang, Germany, and the company has additional offices in Romania, India, Singapore, China, Japan & the United States. A portion of Avira's sales support the Auerbach Foundation, which assists education, children, and families in need. For more information about Avira visit www.avira.com.