Online tech publication, The Register, reports that the new owners of Lavasoft AB are raising some concerns due to their past history. Lavasoft AB was originally a Swedish company responsible for the popular Ad-Aware anti-spyware software. But in January of this year the company was purchased by a Montréal-based investment fund by the name of Solaria. Normally this would not be all that important except for the fact that the senior officials connected to Solaria have a history of suspect online behaviour.
According to The Register, Solaria’s directors are Charles Dadoun and Daniel Assouline; these two gentlemen are also directors of a long suspect marketing company known as Upclick. Furthermore, Upclick’s former marketing director is now marketing director at Lavasoft.
The final piece of the puzzle comes by way of a company known as Interactive Brands, another entity owned and operated by Dadoun and Assouline. It is Lavasoft’s new association with Interactive Brands that is raising eyebrows.
In 2007 Lavasoft identified Interactive Brands as a site responsible for distributing spyware, creating and operating fraudulent websites, and even selling the free Ad-Aware program to unsuspecting users who didn’t know they could get it at no cost. At that time Lavasoft disavowed any relationship with Interactive Brands and made it clear the company was selling Ad-Aware without their knowledge or consent.
In response to questions from The Register Mr. Dadoun wrote, “We decided to buy Lavasoft because of its core technology, its loyal user base and the belief that with the right investment – the company can once more rise to its true potential.”
Only time will tell where this ends up. But for right now it would appear that the best course of action is buyer beware.