Google sues US government over contract lock-out
Google is suing the US Government for excluding its products from a $59 million five-year contract to upgrade the Department of the Interior’s email system.
Google said the Government abused its discretion and acted in a manner that was “arbitrary and capricious” by only considering sales proposals based on Microsoft’s email technology.
The suit comes as Google steps up efforts to court federal, state and local government customers for its online email and productivity products.
Google said the Department of the Interior’s move ran contrary to “assurances to Google representatives that DOI would conduct a full and open competition for its messaging requirements”.
“The Request For Proposal specified that only the Microsoft Business productivity Online Suite-Federal could be proposed,” Google’s complaint read.
The Department of the Interior declined comment.
In July, Google introduced a special version of its web-based productivity software designed to meet stringent US Government security requirements.
Google’s Apps for Government is certified under the Federal Information Security Management Act, which the company said meant it could handle government information deemed sensitive, but not classified.
Google generates 97% of its annual revenue of nearly $24 billion from advertising, but the company has said its Apps business generates “hundreds of millions” of dollars in annual revenue and is profitable.