Amazon to fight giant cloud deal won by rival Microsoft

Amazon to protest Pentagon's $10-billion cloud award to Microsoft- WSJ, Inc. (NASDAQ: AMZN) is planning to protest a $10 billion cloud computing contract, known as JEDI, which the Department of Defense awarded to Microsoft Corp (NASDAQ: MSFT) in October.

Amazon is the commercial cloud computing market leader by a long-shot, holding a leading 48 percent market share, according to market-research firm Gartner.

Some lawmakers questioned whether U.S. President Donald Trump unfairly intervened in the process against Amazon. The process was subsequently paused the following month.

The victor of the $10 billion Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure contract will build and maintain a cloud computing platform that's meant to overhaul the DOD's information technology infrastructure. Oracle, in particular, had unsuccessfully argued Pentagon officials unfairly favored Amazon for the winner-take-all contract. A representative for the Defense Department said the agency wouldn't speculate on potential litigation.

Amazon said it filed a notice in a U.S. court last week signalling its intent to protest the handling of the bidding process, which the Department of Defence maintained was fair.

A new book by Guy Snodgrass, a speechwriter to former Defense Secretary Jim Mattis, alleges that Trump, in the summer of 2018, told Mattis to "screw Amazon" and lock it out of the bid.

"AWS is uniquely experienced and qualified to provide the critical technology the US military needs, and remains committed to supporting the DoD's modernization efforts", the spokesperson said in a prepared statement.

"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", a spokesperson for AWS said.

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

Microsoft did not immediately respond to an email seeking comment late Thursday.

"AWS has a good deal of evidence suggesting that while it was following the JEDI rules in good faith, competitors and grudge-holding political hacks corrupted the contract process", King said.

U.S. Defense Secretary Mark Esper told reporters at a news conference in Seoul Friday that he backed the decision-making process for the JEDI cloud computing contract.

Amazon, one of the world's most valuable companies, has expanded from its origins in e-commerce to cloud services, streaming media, artificial intelligence and other ventures.



Other news