General Electric Co. has sued competitor Siemens Energy AG alleging Siemens Energy stole trade secrets to gain an unfair advantage in bidding for contracts worth "billions of dollars."

General Electric filed the suit at a U.S. District Court in Virginia. General Electric claims Siemens Energy rigged bids to supply gas turbine equipment and maintenance services to Virginia-based power company Dominion Energy, Inc. in 2019. General Electric is contesting the bid.

The lawsuit alleges a Dominion employee gave Siemens Energy confidential technical information obtained from General Electric's bid submission. General Electric accused Siemens of using that information along with other illegally obtained bid data to help it win the contract - reportedly worth around $340 million.

General Electric further alleges Siemens Energy used illegally obtained trade secrets to win other contracts - which boosted the price of Siemens Energy's shares. Siemens AG recently spun off Siemens Energy and listed its shares on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange in September.

"Siemens' employees did not just receive and disseminate General Electric's trade secrets. They aggressively and affirmatively exploited the trade secrets to gain an unfair commercial advantage in preparing competitive bids against General Electric," the company alleged in the filing.

Siemens Energy has identified the relevant infraction and all of the employees involved had been disciplined, representative Tim Proll-Gerew said. "Siemens Energy's integrity is foundational to our operating principles and will not be compromised under any circumstances."

General Electric said Siemens Energy disclosed the infraction of one of its employees 16 months after he had obtained the trade secrets. The company alleged Siemens Energy was trying to play down the violation and it had so far refused to assure it that the documents will be destroyed.

General Electric is asking the court to order Siemens Energy to stop using the allegedly stolen trade secrets and to pay it damages worth "hundreds of millions of dollars."