Briefing

Amazon alleges Trump’s ‘undue pressure’ cost it US$10-billion defence contract

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The Pentagon assessed outdated documents and didn’t consider some of Amazon Web Services’ (AWS) features, it said in a complaint to the U.S. Court of Federal Claims unsealed Monday. It cited as examples of pressure the president’s criticism of Amazon and its CEO Jeff Bezos in public statements and tweets, and the removal of Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis in December 2018 as direct interference in the contract award. Donald Trump has also criticized The Washington Post, which Bezos owns, for its reporting. The department said the president did not interfere. (The New York Times)

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Talking point: Microsoft was awarded the Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure (JEDI) procurement in October. But the project’s prospects are now complicated by two cases—Amazon’s and Oracle’s appeal of an unsuccessful suit that claims three defence department officials had conflicts of interest with AWS. Amazon continues to pursue the JEDI contract despite employee opposition to its work with government agencies; on Saturday, Bezos said at an event that the U.S. would be “in trouble” if tech firms “turn their backs on the Department of Defense.”