Amazon plans to appeal the decision taken by the Trump administration to award the Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure, known as JEDI, cloud computing contract to its closest rival, Microsoft.
The contract, worth £7.7 billion, is intended to overhaul and modernise the US Department of Defense’s cloud infrastructure.
As a dominant leader in the cloud computing market, Amazon Web Services (AWS) looked likely to secure the ten year contract despite competition from Oracle, IBM, and Microsoft. However, in October the Pentagon made the surprise decision to hand it to Microsoft.
This move has been linked to statements made by US President Donald Trump, who vowed to “take a very strong look” at the bidding process in July in the wake of “tremendous complaints from other companies”.
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By awarding JEDI to Microsoft, it was speculated that Trump’s public feud with Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, who also owns the Washington Post, was the chief cause for the decision. A speechwriter for former Defense secretary General John Mattis alleges that Trump personally asked Mattis to “screw Amazon” out of the contract.
A spokesperson for Amazon told CNN Business that the deal was littered with “errors and unmistakable bias”.
“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,” the AWS spokesperson said.
The spokesperson added that AWS “is uniquely experienced and qualified to provide the critical technology the US military needs, and remains committed to supporting the (Department of Defense’s) modernization efforts”.