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Microsoft and Hewlett Packard: The IT giants who fear losing the Government’s favour

The Independent - They are two of the largest technology companies in the world with a combined market value of £180bn and annual profits of £14bn.

But in a striking case of Goliath accusing David of bullying, the American giants Microsoft and Hewlett Packard have complained that they are being unfairly picked on by the Cabinet Office minister Francis Maude.

The Independent understands the Government’s largest IT supplier Hewlett Packard has written to the Treasury to express its concern at plans by Mr Maude to award more Government contracts to smaller suppliers. At the same time Microsoft is fighting a rearguard action against the Cabinet Office to protect the million pounds it gets each year from Whitehall by selling popular Office programmes such as Word and Excel.

Both companies are concerned that they are being singled out by ministers as unpopular and easy targets in their rhetoric about cutting public sector waste.