E-commerce giant cited ‘unmistakable bias’ on the part of the Department of Defense in award to Microsoft

E-commerce giant Amazon announced Thursday that it intends to challenge the Pentagon’s decision to award its massive war cloud contract to the only other bidder in the procurement process — Microsoft.

The contract is for the Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure, or JEDI, contract, and the winner-take-all job that is valued about $10 billion. It is intended to help the military upgrade and transfer classified data.

Amazon’s cloud unit, Amazon Web Services, believes the race contained both “errors” and “unmistakable bias.”

“AWS is uniquely experienced and qualified to provide the critical technology the U.S. military needs, and remains committed to supporting the DoD’s modernization efforts,” an Amazon Web Services spokesperson said in a statement to FOX Business. “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.”

When contacted by FOX Business, a Department of Defense official refused to speculate on potential litigation.

Late last month, Microsoft was declared the winner in the race, which became the object of heightened scrutiny. Amazon had been considered the frontrunner due to its other standing cloud deals, including a $600 million cloud contract with the CIA. That indicates the company already has the approval to handle sensitive government data. The company, however, got drawn up in public controversy.

A spokesperson for Microsoft also did not return FOX Business’ request for comment.

The Department of Defense reviewed the pending cloud contract following complaints there had been conflicts of interest involving Amazon throughout the procurement process.

“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 Amazon Web Services spokesperson said.

President Trump had said that the lucrative, but contested, $10 billion cloud contract may be biased in favor of Amazon.

“I’m getting tremendous complaints about the contract with the Pentagon and with Amazon, they’re saying it wasn’t competitively bid,” Trump told reporters in July. “We’re looking at it very seriously, it’s a very big contract, one of the biggest ever given.”

Republicans sent a letter to Trump in July asking him to request that the Pentagon delay declaring either Amazon or Microsoft a winner.

Oracle, IBM and Google were the other initial contenders for the massive contract. Oracle challenged the bidding process in court last year, but lost.

Author: Brittany De Lea

Source: Fox Business: Amazon to challenge Pentagon war cloud contract citing ‘unmistakable bias’

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