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Amazon to appeal Pentagon decision to award Microsoft $10bn cloud contract

Amazon to appeal Pentagon decision to award Microsoft $10bn cloud contract
17 Nov 2019

Amazon will appeal the US department of defense’s decision to award Microsoft a major cloud contract.

Amazon, which already provides cloud computing for the Central Intelligence Agency, had been favourites to win the contract worth $10bn over 10 years.

The company has now lodged its intention to appeal, claiming the decision was made due to political pressure.

US President Donald Trump threatened to intervene in the process in July, suggesting there had been “tremendous complaints”.

Trump has previously exchanged verbal altercations with Amazon chief executive Jeff Bezos, who also owns the Washington Post – an outlet that has been critical of his presidency.

This prompted a delay to the decision by the Pentagon until 25 October when Microsoft were announced as having won the contract.

Defence secretary Mark Esper said he was “confident it was conducted freely and fairly without any type of outside influence.”

The project, known as Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure or JEDI, is aimed at modernising the data and communication systems within the US military.

The contract could be particularly lucrative if other government departments follow suit when upgrading systems.

An Amazon spokesperson said: “Amazon Web Services is uniquely experienced and qualified to provide the critical technology the US military needs, and remains committed to supporting the DoD’s modernisation efforts.

“We also believe it’s critical for our country that the government and its elected leaders administer procurements objectively and in a manner that is free from political influence.

“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 filed its intention to appeal the decision last week, according to the BBC, with a formal appeal likely to be lodged at a later date.

Microsoft did not respond to request for comment.

By Michael Searles

Source: City AM