Govʼt, Microsoft disagree on selling software directly to state

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Globetrotter19/Wikimedia Commons

Hungaryʼs government wants to cut the middleman out of procurements of software, but Microsoft refuses to sell directly to the state, Prime Minister Viktor Orbán said on Monday, fielding questions from opposition MPs in Parliament, state news wire MTI reports.

Photo: Globetrotter19/Wikimedia Commons

"It is the stance of the Hungarian government now, as earlier, that we want to buy directly from software companies. We donʼt need any agent or third party," Orbán said.

"The problem is that the Americans insist on this. Microsoft is not willing to deal with anybody directly. It wonʼt even sell its products [directly] to the state of Hungary, only through agents," he added.

Asked whether the government would order a review of state procurements of Microsoft software by the Government Control Office (KEHI), Orbán said the law prohibits such a review while a criminal investigation of the matter is underway.

In the summer, Microsoft Hungary agreed with the United States Department of Justice to pay criminal penalties to resolve a bribery case that involved inflated margins for state orders that were pocketed by middlemen. Hungaryʼs Chief Prosecutor ordered a probe of the matter in August.

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