The government Thursday lifted a week-old ban that prevented IBM from competing for new federal contracts. In exchange, IBM agreed to withdraw its protest of an $84 million contract with the EPA it lost last year, and to refund any attorney fees and costs the Government Accountability Office paid to fight it. IBM has placed five employees on administrative leave in the dust-up.
IBM employees allegedly obtained information from an EPA employee, “which IBM officials knew was improperly acquired, and used the information during its negotiations to improve its chance of winning a contract,” the agreement states. But the EPA’s decision to lift the ban means the incident is likely isolated, one market research exec tells the AP.