Google Tries to Prove the Government Is Anticompetitive

By Clint Boulton  |  Posted 2010-11-02 Print this article Print

Many of those seats are occupied by U.S. government employees. New York City last month picked Microsoft to give 100,000 municipal employees Web-based Microsoft applications.

Eric Goldman, a cyber-law professor at the Santa Clara University School of Law, told eWEEK:

"I think the more interesting angle is how Google is contesting the software business against Microsoft. Google is trying to expand beyond its search business, and it's willing to invest in litigation to buttress its Apps business."

Google refused to give Microsoft's might the credit for its litigation, telling eWEEK Nov. 1:

"Google is a proponent of open competition on the Internet and in the technology sector in general. 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."

Sources familiar with the company's plans told eWEEK Google simply feels as though it didn't get a fair shake by the DOI after the GSA accorded Google FISMA that neither Microsoft nor IBM have attained.

Google believes the DOI set itself up for litigation when it specified the new e-mail system had to be part of Microsoft BPOS.

The challenge is that Google must prove the DOI's intent to shut out fair competition as protected by the Competition in Contracting Act.

Google is accusing the government of anticompetitive practices. This comes as Microsoft and other companies try to convince the DOJ and FTC Google is guilty of thwarting competition by prioritizing its own Web services in search results.  

Told you this was quite the irony onion. Does Google have a good case? Goldman isn't sure: "I don't know very much about the government contracting process, so it's a little hard to handicap winners here."

What is clear is that Google's battle with Microsoft in collaboration software has moved from contract tables in the boardroom to the court.  



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