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US Sues Oracle Over Alleged Overcharging 164

Posted by timothy
from the who-does-a-gorilla-sue? dept.
CWmike writes "Oracle is being sued by the US government for allegedly overcharging it by millions of dollars, according to documents on file in US District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia. The US General Services Administration's Schedules are supposed to provide discounts that are as good as or better than that given to the vendor's most favored customers, the complaint states. However, Oracle employee Paul Frascella, who joins the government's action, learned that Oracle was finding ways around the GSA restrictions in order to give commercial customers even deeper discounts, according to the complaints. In one alleged practice Oracle was said to be 'selling to a reseller at a deep discount ... and having the reseller sell the product to the end user at a price below the written maximum allowable discounts,' the complaint states. Overall, Oracle's actions cost US taxpayers 'tens of millions of dollars,' it adds."
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US Sues Oracle Over Alleged Overcharging

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  • Good! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by timeOday (582209) on Wednesday June 16, 2010 @04:45PM (#32594836)
    Glad to see the govt. fighting to get more for our tax dollars, not just sitting there getting bilked by dishonest vendors.
  • Re:Wait a minute (Score:5, Insightful)

    by ceejayoz (567949) <cj@ceejayoz.com> on Wednesday June 16, 2010 @04:52PM (#32594950) Homepage Journal

    They are suing Oracle because Oracle gave someone else a better price?

    They are suing Oracle because Oracle gave someone else a better price despite being contractually bound not to.

    Don't like it? Don't agree to it.

  • Right.... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by UrQUan3 (612520) on Wednesday June 16, 2010 @04:55PM (#32595014) Homepage
    In working for the government, we are routinely forced to use GSA for purchases. GSA is often far higher than the open market price. As a GSA contract is often good for over a year, prices that were good for a Core2 system last year are painful today. Modern systems aren't even available without circumventing GSA. GSA was intended for cutting grass and painting buildings, not IT purchases.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 16, 2010 @05:00PM (#32595080)
    No, no, you don't understand! This is classic trickle-down economics at work. Larry Ellison's cash will eventually be spent on the hard-working American populace, so it's all coming back to the taxpayer.

    Right, mr. Reagan?

    Mr. Reagan?

    Hello?
  • by HikingStick (878216) <z01riemer&hotmail,com> on Wednesday June 16, 2010 @05:06PM (#32595146)

    Overall, Oracle's actions cost US taxpayers 'tens of millions of dollars,'...

    And now, we can add $10m more for the costs associated with a long, protracted trial, and all the associated appeals.

  • Re:Wait a minute (Score:5, Insightful)

    by BlueBoxSW.com (745855) on Wednesday June 16, 2010 @05:06PM (#32595154) Homepage

    They demanded, and Oracle agreed. On paper.

  • Re:Wait a minute (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 16, 2010 @05:14PM (#32595284)

    "This is why most companies don't like dealing with the government"

    [citation needed]

  • Right... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by N0Man74 (1620447) on Wednesday June 16, 2010 @05:17PM (#32595314)

    Because if Oracle had contracts with a private corporation to give them the best deals, and that private corporation found out that Oracle wasn't holding up to their end of the bargain, they would never sue, right?

    It's only because they were dealing with the big evil government that they had to actually stick to their contractual obligations.

    And if the government was found to be overcharged without doing anything about it, citizens would never object, right?

    The government has the reputation for never being efficient or controlling costs. Whenever the government tries to become more efficient and more cost effective, we need to encourage that! (Assuming it doesn't mean taking away our rights)

  • Re:Wait a minute (Score:5, Insightful)

    by fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) on Wednesday June 16, 2010 @05:23PM (#32595416) Journal
    Don't you understand? Here is how it works:

    Because the government is intrinsically evil, anything it does that a corporation doesn't like is communism. Therefore, their deal with Oracle couldn't possibly be legit, even if Oracle signed.

    However, because the government is intrinsically wasteful, any example of it getting a poor deal is just further evidence of how evil and wasteful it is...

    You can see how this, completely internally consistent, line of reasoning leads to governance that is both inefficient and grossly expensive. Pity most of the people who articulate it aren't joking...
  • Re:Good! (Score:4, Insightful)

    by COMON$ (806135) on Wednesday June 16, 2010 @05:39PM (#32595682) Journal
    LOL, this is a RARE occurance. When I worked for the state there was an agency DAS that would use the collective buying power of the state to supposedly negotiate contracts for lower prices. The problem? They would not renegotiate so when cat-5 cables would drop in price, the vendor would be obligated to sell it for the price when it was negotiated. I was forced to pay $15 for a 10 ft cable in 2006 from CDWG. How do they get away with it? They show a cost savings for every purchase because at the time they negotiated the prices, everything was $20 a cable. So every time my agency would order a cable in 2006 DAS would show a $5 savings.The agency had lost all purpose and had turned into a huge money pit, they were more interested in pulling a profit than serving the interests of the agencies they were to serve. Yes they are not allowed to pull a profit, but nonetheless they did, they were caught and magically no agency was billed for mainframe time for 6 months or so...

    I am glad that there are some places where people are looking out for these kinds of things in the gov't though, it gives some bright hope that things can be done properly rather than as lazily as humanly possible.

  • Re:Wait a minute (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Bigjeff5 (1143585) on Wednesday June 16, 2010 @06:47PM (#32596454)

    Who says the US government is a preferred customer?

    My money is on the contract Oracle negotiated that said the US Government would get discounts that were as good or better than any other Oracle customer's discount.

    This isn't the gov strong arming Oracle, this is Oracle signing a contract and then looking for every way they could to avoid doing what they agreed to do.

    Generally we call that a "breech of contract", and there are serious legal ramifications whether the US government is involved in the contract or not.

    Or, to put it more simply, fucking read you dumbass.

  • Re:Right... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Runaway1956 (1322357) on Wednesday June 16, 2010 @09:14PM (#32597602) Homepage Journal

    "" More citizens have been killed by their OWN government, than by foreign invasion""

    I'm not about to sit down and start researching - but GP's statement is probably correct. Today, N. Korea seems to casually condemn it's villagers to starvation each winter, after ensuring that all the crops have been harvested for use by the government. Pol Pot. The Soviet. Idi Amin. Saddam Hussein. The list goes on and on.

    The casualties due to both actively hunting down people, and due to gross neglect, added together, may very well outweigh the numbers of deaths due to foreign invasion. Maybe not in every country, but world wide, it would be interesting to see the statistics.

    Granparent may or may not be exaggerating, but he isn't exactly being stupid.

  • Re:Right... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by N0Man74 (1620447) on Thursday June 17, 2010 @04:07AM (#32599618)

    I don't know how you can study the last 3000 years of history, and conclude government is not evil. More citizens have been killed by their OWN government, than by foreign invasion, even inside Democracies.

    This might come as a bit of a shocker to you, but governments are run by humans.

    Some humans are kind and benevolent. Some are ruthless, tyrannical, and evil. Some have good intentions but still manage to botch things along the way.

    Of course governments have been responsible for some terrible things, but it's only when they are in the position to. The same thing has been true for individuals, warlords, cult leaders, churches, corporations, etc.

    The good or evil that they produce has nothing intrinsically to do with the fact that they are governments.

    The more centralized the power is, the more effective, and the less accountability for that power, the more potential for corruption (regardless of the type or organization it stems from).

    It's not that governments are more evil than any other institution, it's that they frequently tend to be the most influential institution, and have the potential for doing the most harm when they are.

    The important thing with governments are to ensure that there is accountability, the right to dissent, vigilance in maintaining one's rights, and preventing too much power from pooling in one place.

    Governments don't kill people, their leaders and agents do, but only if they are allowed too. Without governments, murder would not go away... in fact, I suspect it would get worse.

Almost anything derogatory you could say about today's software design would be accurate. -- K.E. Iverson

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