The biggest search engine in the world has decided to take on the US government, suing it for anticompetitive practices. Certainly big news, it still isn’t much of a shocker, as Google seems to be rather justified in its stance.
Google is suing the Department of Interior (DOI) for not considering Google Apps for its web-based document and messaging needs in its Request for Quotation, which stated that the solution had to be a part of the Microsoft Business Productivity Online Suite. This according to Google is “unduly restrictive of competition”, and an "arbitrary and capricious, and abuse of discretion, and otherwise contrary to law" requirement.
DOI so far maintains that Microsoft’s solutions offered something the competition didn’t, specifically “unified/consolidated email” and “enhanced security”. Google of course disputes this claim, and pointed out several flaws and problems with Microsoft’s solutions, including recent vulnerabilities and downtime issues. In other words, Google is accusing the DOI of Microsoft favouritism.
[RELATED_ARTICLE]Google has been competing against Microsoft for various government contracts so far, and both have had their victories at the state and city level. According to Google though, it has been attempting to demonstrate the many benefits of Google Apps to the DOI since June last year, but it had been reputedly refused since. Google now says that though DOI kept insisting that the contract was wide open in this period, work had already started with Microsoft's solution. Now, Google wants a fair chance to make a bid for the job, 'in accordance with applicable law and regulations'.
Microsoft has not commented on the lawsuit so far.