UPDATE 1-Dutch govt seeks damages from KPN over disputed tender

Mon Feb 25, 2013 12:26pm EST

(Adds KPN comment)

AMSTERDAM Feb 25 (Reuters) - The Dutch interior ministry said it is suing telecoms firm KPN for damages of about 24 million euros ($32 million) because of legal costs and delays resulting from a disputed tender in 2010.

Dutch market leader KPN originally won the fixed-line tender in 2010, but lost it in April 2012 after Swedish-listed rival Tele2 objected on the grounds that KPN's bid distorted fair competition.

A spokesman for the interior ministry said that the state had incurred legal costs as a result of the dispute while the two-year delay meant higher prices for fixed-line equipment.

He did not say how much the state paid, but at the time of the dispute, the contract was reported to be worth up to 140 million euros.

"Attempts to reach an amicable agreement between the ministry and KPN for damages have failed," the ministry said in a short statement.

"We await the next step," a spokeswoman for KPN told Reuters, adding that talks between the two parties had stopped. ($1 = 0.7567 euros) (Reporting by Thomas Escritt; Editing by Sara Webb and David Cowell)