23 June 2008 | Jake Kanter
The European Commission (EC) has no plans to stop Microsoft from bidding for future contracts with the EU.
The announcement follows a German MEP questioning the IT firm's suitability to bid for contracts, considering the long-running legal battle between it and the EC.
But the EC's response said its financial rules offer a "possibility", not an obligation, to ban Microsoft, but the firm's past penalties would not affect its future participation in tenders.
MEP Heide Rühle wrote to the EC earlier this year asking if Microsoft should be excluded from participating in current or future tenders under Article 93 of the EU's Financial Regulations. This stipulates bidders convicted by the European Court of Justice for serious misconduct should be banned from procurement procedures.
Caroline Lucas, Green party MEP for South East England, has now urged the commission to provide more clarity on the role Microsoft can play in future contracts. She said Article 45 of the EU procurement directive (2) stipulates: "Companies which have legal judgments against them can be excluded from the award of public contracts."