Avast completes buyout of AVG, becoming the biggest antivirus provider outside China

Newly combined company promises to beef up protection for its 400 million users and continue support for AVG software

Antivirus company Avast Software has completed its takeover of AVG Technologies, with over 400 million users now under its care. The two security firms announced announced the deal in June, and have now revealed what the takeover means for users of their free and paid software. The key message: business as usual, with upgraded protection on the way.

Avast now protects 40 per cent of PCs outside China, where Qihoo 360 rules the roost. "If [our users] were a country, we would have the third largest population in the world," says Avast CEO Vince Steckler (pictured above).

Avast threat lab

Avast plans to add AVG's expertise and technology to its Threat Lab, and create new teams dedicated to growing security risks

The newly combined company promises to upgrade protection for its millions of users, merging its detection labs with AVG's and establishing dedicated teams to deal with specific online threats.

These include units dedicated to social engineering and ransomware – two of the fastest-growing dangers to both personal and business users. "We believe we are now better equipped than ever to outsmart those who want to do harm to people online," says Steckler.

If you rely on AVG software, you won't be left out in the cold – Avast plans to keep both brands running for the foreseeable future, and will continue to update all free and paid-for security programs. "We want our customers to be reassured that whether you use an AVG product or an Avast product, we will continue to support you," Steckler adds.

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Cat is TechRadar's downloads editor. She's been a tech journalist for six years on magazines including PC Plus, Official Windows, PC Format and Windows: Help & Advice (with a brief stint in PR for the nuclear industry in between). If you have a question about software, drop her a line!