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Google accuses Calif. of Microsoft bias

SACRAMENTO, Aug. 13 (UPI) -- Google Inc. has accused California officials of freezing it out of the bidding for a $60 million contract to fix up the state e-mail system.

Andrew Kovacs, a Google spokesman, said the requirements to put in a bid were impossible for the Mountain View, Calif., company to meet, the Los Angeles Times reported. While the bidding process is still open, the state is now in talks with Microsoft Corp.

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"There's no competition when only one team's allowed to play," Kovacs said. "With a level playing field, we're confident we could provide a better product and save California taxpayers millions of dollars, which could be used to fund state services much more important than e-mail."

Google offers e-mail based on the Internet. Some small cities and towns have adopted its "cloud-based" technology, and the company says California could save millions of dollars.

Bill Maile, a spokesman for the state information technology office, said the state wanted to get as many bidders as possible and denied any bias against Google.

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