To the surprise of perhaps no one, Amazon Web Services has a bone to pick about the U.S. Department of Defense choosing Microsoft last month for its 10-year, $10 billion JEDI cloud contract.
According to CNBC, Amazon, which had been viewed as the frontrunner for the contract, filed a notice in the U.S. Court of Federal Claims on Thursday that said it planned to contest the Pentagon's decision to give Microsoft the cloud-computing contract. When the decision was first announced on Oct. 25, Amazon said in a statement that it was "the clear leader in cloud computing, and a detailed assessment purely on the comparative offerings clearly led to a different conclusion."
“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 Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure (JEDI) cloud contract has been a hotly contested and acrimonious process among Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft, IBM and Oracle. The JEDI contract was supposed to be awarded in September of last year, but some of the competing companies contended that Amazon had an unfair advantage. The process was slowed after several investigations and legal battles.
It's well known that President Donald Trump dislikes Amazon and Washington Post owner Jeff Bezos. Trump interjected himself into contract process in July when he said to reporters that he "never had something where more people are complaining,” according to a story by CNBC. Trump cited complaints by Microsoft, Oracle and IBM. IBM and Oracle were previously eliminated from the contract process, which they both protested, but lost, in court.
In a new book, the speech writer for former Defense Secretary Jim Mattis wrote that Trump called Mattis in the summer of 2018, and directed him to "screw Amazon" out of a chance to bid on the contract, according to the website Task and Purpose. Mattis declined to do that, according to the book.
Aside from being the cloud market leader, AWS was also considered the front-runner because it had built cloud services for the Central Intelligence Agency prior to Trump's reported interest in the contract.
Citing his son's work at IBM, U.S. Secretary of Defense Mark Esper removed himself from the review of the Pentagon's $10 billion JEDI cloud-computing contract prior to it being awarded in October.