Defense Secretary says $10B Pentagon cloud contract 'conducted fairly,' despite Amazon dispute

Esper defends as fair Pentagon contract disputed by Amazon

The big picture: Amazon seems to think that given its dominance in the cloud space, it would have made ideal sense that the government choose them instead of one of the smaller competitors.

"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", AWS said in Thursday's statement.

"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", the statement added.

The Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure project - known as JEDI - is created to modernise the antiquated data and communication systems within the United States military.

Some lawmakers questioned whether U.S. President Donald Trump unfairly intervened in the process against Amazon.

Amazon says it plans to challenge the government's decision in federal court, alleging the contract has been awarded to Microsoft as a result of political bias.

Bezos owns The Washington Post, which has always been critical of the Trump administration.

Defence Secretary Mark Esper said the competition was fair. He said he would ask the Pentagon "to take a look at it very closely". And we're getting tremendous, really, complaints from other companies and from great companies.

Last month, Trump said that some of the world's largest companies including Microsoft, IBM and Oracle had complained about the matter.

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

"I am confident it was conducted freely and fairly without any type of outside influence", he told reporters in Seoul, where he was beginning an Asia tour.

Requested if anything would prevent OpenAI abilities reaching the Pentagon, the lab's CEO, Sam Altman, said its contract with Microsoft requires "mutual agreement" sooner than any particular abilities from the lab will also be commercialized by the software program massive.

The selection process faced criticism from the likes of Oracle and Google, who both initially claimed that the process was biased in Amazon's favor.

Microsoft reported that profits rose 21 percent in the recently ended quarter on the back of its thriving cloud computing business which has become a core focus for the USA technology giant. A challenge to the Defence Department's award announced last month was widely expected by legal experts, analysts and consultants, especially after Trump publicly derided Amazon's bid for the highstakes contract.

The tactic is a major switch from the way the Redmond-based company built its empire selling packaged software to computer users. For AWS, which garnered around $9 billion in revenue during Q3, it would have been smaller.



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