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EC concludes backroom deal with Microsoft

Computer Weekly - Public Sector IT - The European Commission has renewed software licences worth up to €50m with Microsoft for another three years after opting not to open the business to competition.

The Commission is expected to announce the deal next week in written answers to questions raised by members of the European Parliament over the purchase of Microsoft software without a competition.

The Commission justified doing a back-room deal, called a negotiated procedure, with Microsoft because it claimed that under Article 126 of the European Financial regulations an upgrade of Microsoft XP to the latest Windows 7 operating system on over 36,000 PCs across the EC and another 54 European agencies would be deemed no more than "a partial replacement" or "extension" of existing software installations.