Editorial

Amazon cries foul over Trump interference in major US government cloud deal

Company says President’s ‘personal vendetta’ major factor in its loss of $10bn Department of Defense deal to rival Microsoft – and it wants its day in court as a result

Posted 10 December 2019 by

As we all know, the Pentagon’s $10bn Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure (JEDI) project for storing and classifying huge amount of American classified military data so as speed up war planning and fighting capacity, went to Microsoft in October.

‘Amazon Web Services Logo’ by GBPublic_PR on Flickr

It’s also well-known that the final contenders for the lucrative procurement deal were a short-list of three US tech giants: Microsoft and Amazon Web Services, last two standing after Oracle and IBM were eliminated at the penultimate stage.

What we didn’t know, alleges one of the losing bidders: back-stage interference from the Trump White House in the shape of “improper pressure” and behind-the-scenes sniping was a contributing factor to the company’s tender being rejected.

That’s the claim, at least, from a highly teed-off Jeff Bezos, who has hired lawyers to try and get the decision re-opened, arguing that 45th US President Donald Trump and “personal vendetta against Mr Bezos, Amazon and the Washington Post” was why it lost the work.

Specifically, the decision to award this vast public sector cloud contract to Microsoft needs to be revisited because of “substantial and pervasive errors” in the final decision process and the alleged interference from the Oval Office.

The court papers also allege that the part of the US Federal Government involved also didn’t due its due diligence properly, including that the winning Microsoft bid didn’t meet the specified technical requirements.

We’ll report further as this major government cloud and procurement story develops.