Oracle will pay the U.S. government US$98.5 million to compensate for allegations that PeopleSoft, the software company Oracle acquired last year, overcharged government customers for years.The U.S. Department of Justice (DoJ) accused PeopleSoft of failing to disclose accurately the discounts it offered large customers. PeopleSoft didn\u2019t offer government agencies its multiple product discount or additional nonstandard discounts that it gave other customers, the DoJ said. As a result, government agencies paid more for PeopleSoft products and services between March 17, 1997, and Sept. 20, 2005, than their corporate counterparts, the DoJ said. The PeopleSoft contracts were made as part of the General Service Administration\u2019s (GSA) Multiple Award Schedule (MAS) program, under which vendors agree to disclose their commercial pricing policies in exchange for the chance to sell to hundreds of government customers under one contract. Overall, the GSA MAS program had sales of\u00a0more than\u00a0$30 billion last year. The overcharging came to light when a PeopleSoft employee, James Hicks, filed a case in the U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland. As a whistle-blower who sued on behalf of the government, Hicks is entitled to a portion of the award. He\u2019ll receive more than $17 million of the Oracle payment. Oracle said it was not aware of the suit at the time it acquired PeopleSoft. The suit was solely focused on PeopleSoft, and Oracle cooperated with the government in the investigation, Oracle said. The settlement follows an investigation by the Civil Division of the DoJ, the U.S. attorney\u2019s office for the District of Maryland and the GSA\u2019s office of inspector general. It\u2019s the largest payment ever to the United States\u00a0in a civil settlement under the False Claims Act involving the GSA\u2019s MAS program.-Nancy Gohring, IDG News Service (Dublin Bureau)Related Links:\n\nOracle Buys Data Integration Firm Sunopsis\n\nOracle Releases 1st Portal Product Since Acquisition\n\nThe Post-PeopleSoft Landscape and the Future of ERP\n\nOracle Unveils 1st Core Berkeley DB ReleaseCheck out our CIO News Alerts and Tech Informer pages for more updated news coverage.