Red Hat Suing Swiss Government For $39 Million

Posted May 30, 2009

Red Hat has filed a lawsuit against the Swiss government over a desktop software and services contract that was awarded to Microsoft.  The Swiss government did not make a call for competitive bids before awarding the contract.

The contract revolves around standardizing desktop software licenses and applications for services, maintenance, and third-level support.  The deal is worth about 42 million Swiss francs over three years.  In U.S. dollars, that is about $39 million.

However The Swiss Federal Bureau for Building and Logistics awarded the contract to Microsoft for technical reasons because no other bidding party would be able to meet the requirements, or so they claimed.  The Swiss law allows companies to award contracts to companies without the requirement of seeking competitive bids if that is the circumstance.

Red Hat claims that the Swiss Federal Agency for Computer Sciences and Telecommunications and the Swiss Federal Institute for Intellectual Property (IGE) is using them already.  Red Hat sells enterprise Linux software that competes directly with Microsoft’s offerings.

German firm Open-Xchange is also pushing the Swiss government to give them a chance to make a bid on the contract too.  About sixteen alternative companies all want to make a bid according to Red Hat.

[via IDG News]