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13 June 2008, 11:35

European Commission won't exclude Microsoft from procurement procedures

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The European Commission has said that Microsoft need not, in principle, be excluded from public procurement procedures, even after being condemned by the European Court of Justice for anti-competitive behaviour. In her question, Heide Rühle, internal market policy spokeswoman for the Greens in the European Parliament, had put the emphasis on two provisions of an EU Directive that provide for the exclusion of applicants from public procurement procedures if their professional reliability is put in question, following a legally effective verdict, or if they have been guilty of grave professional misconduct.

The EC substantiated its decision by saying that the directive provides for the possibility of exclusion, but does not make it obligatory. Moreover, it went on, neither the imposition of a fine by the Commission nor its confirmation by the European Court of Justice is to be regarded as a "criminal conviction of a criminal offence by a final judgement from a Court" as required by the first provision and, since the second provision does not clearly define what counts as grave professional misconduct, the interpretation of it would require case-by-case assessment in the framework of an ongoing procurement procedure.


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