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Government Awards $50 Billion Technology Contract

Twenty-nine companies -- including Electronic Data Systems Corp., General Dynamics Corp. and AT&T Inc. -- on Tuesday were awarded a federal computer systems contract potentially worth up to $50 billion over 10 years.

The General Services Administration, the government's main buying arm, said the contract covers most technology services, such as computer design, software engineering and systems integration.

The so-called Alliant contract is open to all federal agencies, including the Defense Department, and getting on the long-anticipated contract is a big deal for the companies.

"The key here is to get pre-qualified," said Jim Krouse, an analyst at market research provider Government Sales Force.

But the winners aren't necessarily guaranteed work from the agencies, analysts said.

Agencies will issue orders for services through the government-wide contract and the companies will have to bid on them. Agencies can also choose to go on their own.

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