Google Sues Interior Department Over Microsoft Bid Requirement

Google Inc., owner of the world’s most popular search engine, sued the U.S. Interior Department, claiming it didn’t provide a “full and open” competition for a messaging-service contract.

In the complaint filed in the U.S. Court of Federal Claims, Google and Onix Networking Corp., a licensed Google seller, seek an order barring the department from proceeding with Microsoft Corp. software without conducting a fair procurement proceeding.

Google, based in Mountain View, California, claims it didn’t have the opportunity to compete for the contract. The Interior Department had been seeking to acquire a single communications service for the agency’s 88,000 users.

“Notwithstanding Google’s efforts and DOI’s assurances to Google representatives that DOI would conduct a full and open competition for its messaging requirements,” the bid request “specified that only the Microsoft Business Productivity Online Suite-Federal could be proposed,” Google wrote in the complaint filed Oct. 29.

The contract is worth $49.3 million over five years, according to the complaint.

An Interior Department spokesman didn’t immediately return a message seeking comment.

The case is Google Inc. v. U.S., 10-743, U.S. Court of Federal Claims (Washington).

To contact the reporters on this story: William McQuillen in Washington at bmcquillen@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: David E. Rovella at drovella@bloomberg.net.

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