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EU: Green MEP: 'EU procurement rules possibly exclude Microsoft'

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The EU procurement rules possibly exclude Microsoft from current or future procurement procedures, says Heide Rühle MEP, internal market spokeswoman for the Greens / EFA in the European Parliament.

Rühle yesterday wrote the European Commission asking if the EU's procurement rules should apply to Microsoft. According to the rules, bidders who are guilty of serious misconduct and who have been convicted, should be excluded of procurement procedures. "Obviously this also applies to Microsoft", Rühle writes. "I am curious to see whether the EU institutions in the future switch to other products."

The MEP writes: "Microsoft's behaviour had negative effects on millions of offices in companies and governments around the world, this fine for flouting the European competition law represents the highest amount ever imposed in fifty years of EC Competition law for abuse of dominant position. Furthermore, this fine follows a previous one of 280.5 million euro that was imposed in July 2006 essentially for the same reasons."

She then cites the EU's Financial Regulation: "Public procurement, candidates or tenderers shall be excluded from participation in procurement procedures if they have been convicted of an offence concerning their professional conduct by a judgment which has the force of res judicata or if they have been guilty of grave professional misconduct proven by any means which the contracting authority can justify."

The Commission will not immediately provide Rühle with an answer. It may take up to six weeks to respond to such written questions.

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