Amazon protests Pentagon picking Microsoft for its $10B JEDI cloud contract

Tech giant Amazon has filed paperwork to protest the US government's decision to overlook the company's cloud computing service and award a $10 billion cloud contract to Microsoft, according to multiple reports.

The Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure (JEDI) cloud contract has been a hotly contested and acrimonious process among Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft, IBM and Oracle.

An Amazon spokesperson told TechCrunch that the evaluation process contained clear deficiencies, errors and "unmistakable bias".

Following the announcement, Amazon was reportedly in talks to protest Pentagon's decision, claiming that it was largely influenced by President Donald Trump's interference in the bidding process. Amazon claims that the White House's own bias against Bezos - and his ownership of The Washington Post - was ultimately was drove the decision.

The Federal Times earlier reported the news. And we're getting tremendous, really, complaints from other companies and from great companies. "Out of an abundance of caution to avoid any concerns regarding his impartiality, Secretary Esper has delegated decision-making concerning the JEDI Cloud program" to Deputy Secretary David Norquist, the spokesman said in a statement. "And we're looking at it very seriously".

Amazon was considered the lead contender to provide technology for JEDI, with its Amazon Web Services (AWS) dominating the cloud computing arena and the company already providing classified servers for other government outfits including the Central Intelligence Agency.

Additionally, a book from former Secretary of Defense James Mattis also alleges that Mattis was instructed by President Trump to "screw Amazon" out of winning the JEDI contract.

Microsoft was Amazon's only rival in the final bidding for the winner-take-all contract, despite employees urging it to drop out.

The JEDI Cloud contract has a "ceiling value of $10,000,000,000 over a period of 10 years", the Pentagon said in a statement announcing it had been awarded to Microsoft.

Microsoft did not immediately respond to ABC News' request for comment Friday. "I am confident it was conducted freely and fairly without any type of outside influence", Esper told a news conference in Seoul. Microsoft and Amazon were declared finalists. Ultimately, it looks as though Bezos merely wishes to restart the entire bidding process for JEDI contract and thus giving itself a "proper" chance at winning the United States government contract.

"We ultimately believe this is a paradigm changer for Microsoft who will remain the lone victor", Ives said, calling Amazon's loss a "black eye" for the company and Bezos.

Amazon Web Services, the cloud computing offshoot of the online retail company, was long thought by many to be the top choice for a lucrative Department of Defense cloud computing deal. It is created to consolidate the department's cloud-computing infrastructure and modernize its technology systems.



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