Best Buy Pulls Product Line Over Ties to the Russian Government
Best Buy will no longer sell security software from Russian internet security company Kaspersky Lab after concerns that the company could be unduly influenced by the Russian government. This summer, the Moscow-based cybersecurity company has faced a series of allegations that it could be influenced by the Kremlin. Due to those concerns, Best Buy decided to stop selling the product, a “decision prompted by media reports, congressional testimony and industry discussion,” according to the Star Tribune. The company will allow customers who have purchased the software or who have active subscriptions to exchange it for another product within the next 45 days.
Total Retail's Take: This seems to be a pre-emptive move on the part of Best Buy, as Kasperky Labs products can still be found for sale on Amazon.com as well as Wal-Mart. The consumer electronics chain is protecting against a potential crisis — i.e., it's found to be selling products from a company that has ties to cyberespionage or offensive cyber efforts in partnership with the Russian government. It would appear Amazon and Wal-Mart don't hold those same concerns. Best Buy has chosen the "better safe than sorry" route, even if it may come with lost sales and upset customers.