From time to time, we are trying to analyze this awkward situation in Turkish IT market in our articles and researches. It is not yet clear if the still ongoing strange legal battle that started last year between Kaspersky and Helyum is an example to the situation, but it is resembling one. Helyum was the distributor of Kaspersky until 2011 and both companies are blaming each other for not fulfilling their responsibilities. They filed lawsuits against each other. So we decided to contact these 2 firms and try to take a clearer picture of what is going on.
We reached Helyum CEO Murat Goce and he replied our questions, but Kaspersky Turkey declined to give a comment ducking behind the fact that it is a legal issue now. As an objective online portal, we also got in touch with a highly respected specialist in Turkish software market and asked him to interpret this legal battle from a specialist point of view. But first let’s take a look at what has happened.
Last year, with a press event, Helyum announced that it had ended its partnership with Kaspersky and signed a deal to become the distributor of Trend Micro. Right after this press event, via its PR agency, Kaspersky stated that Helyum had not fulfilled its responsibilities as a distributor and Kaspersky would file a lawsuit to seek its legal rights. Helyum did not waste any time to counter this statement and claimed that Kaspersky was the one who had not fulfilled its responsibilities and Helyum had sent 2 notarized statements.
After these reciprocal statements and law suits filed, Kaspersky and Helyum stopped arguing in front of press and everything was calm for almost a year. Then in this August, Kaspersky published another statement claiming that Helyum was still selling Kaspersky products without proper licenses and with fake activision keys. Helyum strongly objected to these claims labeled those accusations as totally groundless. So once more, the conflict between the two seems to be rising.
Murat Goce, the CEO of Helyum Bilisim, told us that the agreement between Helyum and Kaspersky ended in March 2011 with the request of Kaspersky. Goce says that Kaspersky’s 2011 products were distributed through Helyum starting in October 2010 and could still be found in shelves and in stores. He says, Helyum had nothing to do with fake activison codes or licenses since they distributed the legal Kasperksy products to the channel just until their agreement with Kaspersky was over and stopped the distribution then.
Murat Goce says they believe they did a great job as a distributor for Kaspersky but the cyber security firm had always unreachable ambitious sales goals, may be partly because they were mislead by the market research reports, and therefore considered Helyum was underperforming. This an important point because as we pointed out in the very first paragraph of this article, Turkish IT market has been driven by just a few importers for many many years and market research firms usually could not take an accurate picture of this market.
Another highly respected specialist from Turkish IT market who asked us to remain as an unnamed source, pointed out the fact that Murat Goce was both the CEO of the distributor (Helyum) and also the head of Kaspersky’s Turkey Office. Our unnamed source says it is a very strange way of conducting business. He also says that these conflicts should be addressed in courts and not by PR salvos.
We are looking forward to understand what is going on and why this happened. After court results it will be clear we suppose and this will be also a picture of distributing area of Turkey..