Briefing

Amazon contests Pentagon’s US$10-billion cloud-contract choice, alleging ‘unmistakable bias’

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Amazon Web Services (AWS) said there were “clear deficiencies, errors, and unmistakable bias” in the U.S. defence department’s evaluation process for the Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure, and said procurement should be “free from political influence.” Microsoft won the contract in October. (The Wall Street Journal, New York Times)

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Talking point: The procurement has already been reviewed—and that’s part of the problem. In July, U.S. President Donald Trump publicly called for an internal Pentagon investigation, suggesting the process was unfair—but skewed in Amazon’s favour. He claimed he’d received “tremendous complaints” about the contract from unnamed people “saying it wasn’t competitively bid.” Defense Secretary Mark Esper dismissed Amazon’s bias claim on Friday. But Trump’s criticisms of Amazon and CEO Jeff Bezos made it difficult for the defence department to be objective, AWS CEO Andy Jassy told employees this week, saying the company’s cloud technology was two years ahead of Microsoft’s.