Amazon protests loss of Pentagon cloud deal
Amazon has challenged the Pentagon’s decision to award a much-coveted cloud computing deal to rival Microsoft.
Jeffrey Dastin and David Shepardson had the news for Reuters:
Amazon.com Inc (AMZN.O) on Thursday said it is contesting the Pentagon’s award of an up to $10 billion cloud computing deal to Microsoft Corp (MSFT.O), expressing concern that politics got in the way of a fair contracting process.
The company filed notice last Friday that it will formally protest the decision on the Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure Cloud, known as JEDI. In a company-wide meeting on Thursday, Amazon Web Services’ CEO Andy Jassy said it would be challenging for a U.S. agency to award a contract objectively when the president is disparaging one of the contestants, according to an Amazon spokesman.
President Donald Trump has long criticized Amazon and its founder Jeff Bezos.
The company confirmed Jassy’s comments and said, “Numerous aspects of the JEDI evaluation process contained clear deficiencies, errors, and unmistakable bias- and it’s important that these matters be examined and rectified.”
Alina Selyukh reported for NPR:
Amazon is taking the Pentagon to court. The company is alleging “unmistakable bias” on the government’s part in awarding a massive military tech contract to rival Microsoft.
This begins a new chapter in the protracted and contentious battle over the biggest cloud-computing contract in U.S. history — called JEDI, for Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure — worth up to $10 billion over 10 years.
The Pentagon declared Microsoft the winner of JEDI on Oct. 25, after months of delays, investigations and controversy — at first, over accusations of a cozy relationship between Amazon and the Department of Defense, and later, over President Trump’s public criticism of Amazon.
In a statement on Thursday, Amazon’s cloud unit argued that “numerous aspects of the JEDI evaluation process contained clear deficiencies, errors, and unmistakable bias- and it’s important that these matters be examined and rectified.” The company is appealing the contract at the U.S. Court of Federal Claims.
CNBC’s Jordan Novet and Amanda Macias quoted a statement by the e-retail giant:
“Numerous aspects of the JEDI evaluation process contained clear deficiencies, errors, and unmistakable bias — and it’s important that these matters be examined and rectified,” Amazon told CNBC in an email.
A Pentagon official said it would not speculate on potential litigation. Microsoft didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment.
In August, the Pentagon announced that Esper would review the JEDI deal after President Donald Trump said that he had received complaints from companies about the process. Trump said in July that companies conveyed that the specifications of the contract favored Amazon, according to Bloomberg.
“I never had something where more people are complaining,” Trump said last month at the White House. “Some of the greatest companies in the world are complaining about it,” he added, naming Microsoft, Oracle and IBM.
The lucrative contract, originally scheduled to be awarded in September 2018, was postponed until Secretary of Defense Mark Esper completed a series of thorough reviews of the technology.