November 01, 2010, 4:43 PM — Online search giant Google is suing the federal government, arguing that the U.S. Department of the Interior was being "unduly restrictive of competition" in not considering Google Apps in its contract bidding process.
Google filed the lawsuit against the DOI with reseller partner ONIX Networking Corp. last Friday in a U.S. District Court, protesting the terms of the department's Request for Quotation regarding messaging products (email and collaboration services) for its 88,000 employees.
According to the complaint filed in court, even though the DOI had given "assurances to Google representatives that DOI would conduct a full and open competition for its messaging requirements, the RFQ specified that only the Microsoft Business Productivity Online Suite-Federal could be proposed."
Google's filing claims that "such specification is unduly restrictive of competition in violation of the Competition in Contracting Act."
Essentially, Google says in the complaint that it pursued the DOI contract energetically, from May through the summer, only to get jerked around and stonewalled by the DOI, even as Google was hearing rumors that Microsoft already had been chosen for the government contract.
Google basically is seeking a halt to the Microsoft implementation and wants to force a do-over of the bidding and procurement process.
Chris Nerney writes about the business side of technology market strategies and trends, legal issues, leadership changes, mergers, venture capital, IPOs and technology stocks. Follow him on Twitter @ChrisNerney.