Google is suing the US government over what it claims is unfair competition with the likes of Microsoft, over a tender for a five-year contract to upgrade an email system for the Department of the Interior.

The lucrative US government contract is worth around $59 million.

'Arbitrary and capricious'

Google filed its complaint in late October, claiming that the government department had acted in an "arbitrary and capricious" way by only considering proposals that were using Microsoft email technology.

Google clearly wants to start selling its own email and productivity apps to the government.

The search giant claims that the Department of the Interior's decision on only looking at Microsoft tech went against "assurances to Google representatives that DOI would conduct a full and open competition for its messaging requirements."

"The RFQ (request for proposal) specified that only the Microsoft Business productivity Online Suite-Federal ("BPOS-Federal") could be proposed," Google's complaint added.

The Department of the Interior has not commented on Google's lawsuit.

Google launched Google Apps for Government back in July this year, a specially-developed productivity suite certified under the Federal Information Security Management Act, which means it is secure enough to handle sensitive government information.

Via Reuters