Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge

NortonLifeLock and Avast are merging in a deal worth more than $8 billion. The deal will see NortonLifelock acquire all of Avast’s shares, and create a much larger cyber security firm. “With this combination, we can strengthen our cyber safety platform and make it available to more than 500 million users,” says Vincent Pilette, NortonLifeLock CEO. “We will also have the ability to further accelerate innovation to transform cyber safety.”

The combination should lead to antivirus products that include the benefits of Avast’s focus on privacy and NortonLifeLock’s experience in identity, all at a time when cyber security is critical for both consumers and businesses.

Ransomware is on the rise, with new high profile cases occurring on what…

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