Overstock.com withdraws protest of GSA’s commercial e-marketplace solicitation
The General Services Administration can award commercial e-marketplace pilots sooner than expected after Overstock.com withdrew its protest of the plan Monday.
Overstock filed a pre-award bid protest with the Government Accountability Office on Jan. 15, citing ambiguous terms that could restrict competition and insufficient time for companies to respond.
The internet retailer withdrew the protest without explanation 10 days after GSA responded with its agency report. The filings in the case are covered by a protective order limiting disclosure to lawyers for the private parties. Overstock’s attorney did not respond to a request for comment on the reason for withdrawal.
The agency, barring any other protests or setbacks, is free to now move forward awarding the pilot.
GSA didn’t make any changes to the acquisition package to cause Overstock to withdraw its protest, according to an agency spokesperson.
GAO had until April 24 to dismiss the protest or direct GSA to partially or completely rewrite the solicitation, during which time the latter could continue evaluating proposals but make no awards.
The pilots will test agencies’ ability to purchase up to $250,000 — the simplified acquisition threshold — in commercial items using e-marketplaces like Amazon or Overstock.
Amazon Business protested the final solicitation at the agency level Nov. 15 because it believed it looked more like a technical specification for a new, government-specific e-commerce portal like GSA Advantage than something performance-based leveraging existing solutions.
GSA issued a revised request for proposals Jan. 8, asking initial respondents to update their submissions by Jan. 15 — the same day Overstock filed its protest.