DUESSELDORF, May 18 (Reuters) - Germany's federal cartel office upheld on Thursday a complaint brought by German Naval Yards against an order from the defense ministry for five new military corvettes valued at over 1.5 billion euros, after the ministry skipped an open procurement.
The ministry had argued that the quickest way to meet the navy's urgent military needs in the Baltic and Mediterranean seas would be to buy more of the ships already produced by a consortium including Luerssen Werft and ThyseenKrupp.
However, the cartel office agreed with German Naval Yards that the need for competition took priority, confirming reports on Wednesday by two German newspapers.
An appeal may be lodged within two weeks. (Reporting by Anneli Palmen; Writing by Madeline Chambers, Editing by Thomas Escritt)