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Illegal procurement favouring Microsoft killed off by Portuguese court

On 27th April the administrative court of Almada, Portugal, declared a €550,000 contract between Microsoft and the Municipality of Almada to be illegal. The technical specifications of the competition launched by the municipality prevented any company other than Microsoft and their partners from submitting a bid.

This ruling is especially significant as it clarifies that a widely used procurement procedure is illegal. The procedure specified the names of Microsoft products instead of general functional and technical requirements. These actions violate fundamental European rules of fair competition and systematically exclude companies that provide
services based on free software.

Unfair tendering practices in Portugal have been repeatedly denounced by ANSOL, the Portuguese National Free Software Association, and ESOP, the Portuguese Open Source Companies Association, which brought the case to court.