The European Commission confirmed that it investigates Danish procurement rules following a complaint from the Danish Unix User Group. It is under examination at DG Markt. The complaint relates to a non-performance related mandatory use of OOXML.
The Danish Unix User Group DKUUG has made a formal complaint to the EU commission over the Danish state, for breach of the EC Treaty article 81 on unfair competition.
The complaint concerns the internal regulation in the Danish state to prescribe the use of a mandatory standard, namely the specification ECMA-376 or ISO/IEC DIS 29500 OOXML, which describes a format that is used in the Microsoft Office 2007 product.
The stated goal of ECMA 376 is:
"The goal is to enable the implementation of the Office Open XML formats by the widest set of tools and
platforms, fostering interoperability across office productivity applications and line-of-business systems, as well
as to support and strengthen document archival and preservation, all in a way that is fully compatible with the
large existing investments in Microsoft Office documents."
(from ECMA-376 Introduction, page 12).
Thus the ECMA 376 specification favours a specific product of a specific company.
The Danish state represented by ITST has made ECMA 376 mandatory from the 1 of January 2008 for cartain procurements in the Danish state, thus making the procurement unacceptably favouring a specific company and their product, and setting their competitors in the field of office software at a competitive disadvantage.