John Paczkowski

Recent Posts by John Paczkowski

Google to U.S.: Who’s Being Anticompetitive Now?

Well how about that: Google’s suing the United States government for a change.

The company and its government-reselling partner Onix Networking have filed suit against the Department of the Interior claiming they’ve been excluded from bidding on a contract to provide email and collaboration technology to the department’s 88,000 employees.

Seems the Department’s Request for Quotations on the project required standardization on Microsoft’s Business Productivity Online Suite, which means Google’s Apps Solution was necessarily shut out of bidding. “Significantly, the SOW (statement of work) and even certain terminology were closely aligned with Microsoft’s product literature for its Exchange Online, SharePoint Online, and Office Communications Online applications,” Google said in its complaint. “This was because the DOI had defined its needs and requirements around the Microsoft products.” The company argues that’s “unduly restrictive of competition,” and is “arbitrary and capricious, an abuse of discretion, and otherwise contrary to the law.”

As reparation for these offenses, Google wants the DOI to comply with legal requirements for an open and competitive process, and it wants an injunction preventing the department from proceeding any further with the bidding process until it does. “Google is a proponent of open competition on the Internet and in the technology sector in general,” the company said in a statement. “Here, a fair and open process could save US taxpayers tens of millions of dollars and result in better services. We’re asking the Department of Interior to allow for a true competition when selecting its technology providers.”