DUESSELDORF, Germany, May 18 (Reuters) - Germany's federal cartel office upheld on Thursday a complaint brought by German Naval Yards against an order from the defence ministry for five new military corvettes valued at over 1.5 billion euros ($1.7 billion), saying it was in breach of procurement rules.
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 Thyssenkrupp.
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.
$1 = 0.8998 euros Reporting by Tom Kaeckenhoff; Writing by Michael Nienaber; Editing by Maria Sheahan