by Ben Vernia | July 27th, 2014
On July 22, the Department of Justice announced that it had intervened in a whistleblower’s case against the software company Symantec, alleging that the company had failed to provide accurate and updated pricing data for a Multiple Award Schedule contract with the General Services Administration. According to DOJ’s press release:
The United States has intervened in a law suit against Symantec Corporation, alleging that Symantec submitted false claims to the United States on a General Services Administration (GSA) software contract, the Justice Department announced today. Symantec is a Fortune 500 company located in Mountain View, California, and it sells a variety of computer security products.
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In 2007, Symantec entered into a Multiple Award Schedule contract with GSA that allowed Symantec to sell software and related items directly to federal purchasers. The case alleges that Symantec knowingly provided the United States with inaccurate and incomplete information about the prices it was offering to its commercial customers during the negotiation and performance of the contract. GSA used Symantec’s disclosures about its commercial sales practices to negotiate the minimum discounts Symantec was required to provide government agencies that bought Symantec software. In addition, the contract required Symantec to update GSA when commercial discounts improved and extend the same improved discounts to government purchasers. The suit contends that Symantec misrepresented its true commercial sales practices, ultimately leading to government customers receiving discounts far inferior to those Symantec gave to its commercial non-government customers.
The contract at issue was in place from 2007 to 2012 and involved hundreds of millions of dollars in sales.