US conglomerate General Electric (GE) filed a lawsuit Thursday against Siemens Energy, accusing its German competitor of using confidential information to win tenders for “billions of dollars” in gas turbine contracts.
According to the document filed by GE in a court in Virginia (eastern United States), Siemens Energy, the former energy division of Siemens which went public in September, obtained this information during a call for tenders launched by Dominion Energy company in 2019.
An employee of this company sent to the home address of a Siemens Energy employee confidential details of the offer filed by GE, including technical specifications, details of pricing and maintenance services offered by GE. .
Instead of immediately destroying this information, the Siemens Energy employee shared it with other colleagues. They were then used to improve Siemens’ offer and thus win the contract, worth between 225 and 340 million dollars, accuses the complaint.
The improperly obtained trade secrets were also used in at least eight other tenders for gas turbines won by Siemens in 2019 and 2020, says GE.
The German group ended up telling GE in September 2020 that it had gained access to this confidential information, but only after conducting its own internal investigation and giving Dominion time to initiate its own.
And Siemens Energy “still refuses to this day to assure GE that the stolen trade secrets have been destroyed”, laments the complaint.
The American group is therefore claiming damages and asking the court to prevent any Siemens employee who had access to the information concerned from participating in the preparation of future tenders.
Asked by AFP, a Siemens Energy official stressed that the group had learned of the complaint through the media and had not yet officially received a document.
“When it does, we will study it closely and respond appropriately,” she added.
But the company has already taken measures, including sanctions against the employees involved, said the spokesperson.
Siemens Energy has also taken steps to remove all confidential GE information from its internal systems, she added.
jum / juj / rle