Amazon Files to Challenge DoD’s Choice of Microsoft for JEDI Contract Suggesting ‘Political Influence’

Updated on Dec 12, 2019 at 1:41 pm UTC by Tolu Ajiboye · 3 min read
Photo: Shutterstock
Photo: Shutterstock

The decision by the Department of Defense to choose Microsoft has been protested by Amazon. The company has made an official filing, suggesting that the choice may not have been objective after all.

Late last month, the United States Department of Defense announced that the much-discussed Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure (JEDI) cloud contract, had been finally awarded to Microsoft. After the announcement, many including Amazon itself seemed sincerely surprised that the contract didn’t go to Amazon. Now, Amazon has decided to officially challenge the contract award.

According to a Federal Times report, Amazon Web Services (AWS) officially filed with the U.S. Court of Federal Claims a week ago, suggesting that the selection process was probably not objective. An Amazon spokesperson iterated this in a statement saying:

“AWS is uniquely experienced and qualified to provide the critical technology the U.S. military needs, and remains committed to supporting the DoD’s modernization efforts. 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.”

In some quarters, it is alleged that the contract did not go to Amazon simply because the president is not very fond of CEO Jeff Bezos. Whether or not this is the real reason might be difficult to confirm but it’s evident now that Amazon is disappointed with the outcome.

During the consideration process, however, Oracle put in an official protest filing in August, with the Government Accountability Office (GAO). Oracle also believed that the process wasn’t objective, specifically accusing the Pentagon of running the whole show to favor Amazon. The GAO dismissed the filing, prompting Oracle to take the matter to court, which also dismissed the case. IBM also toed the same line protesting with the GAO but met the same fate as well.

It is reported that President Donald Trump had gotten involved because of all the rumors that Amazon was being favored, and asked the new Defense Secretary Mark T. Esper, to reexamine the case. It would seem now that pretty much everyone was wrong, with the award to Microsoft. Now that Amazon has filed, the case continues.

In an interesting turn of events that take the supposed Amazon and Microsoft rivalry a bit further, Salesforce cloud software company has announced yesterday, that Microsoft Azure will be responsible for its Marketing Cloud. What makes this interesting is that the San Francisco-based company just a day before, announced a different partnership with the Linux Foundation, which included AWS as well.

According to the announcement, the next few months will see the gradual movement of Salesforce’s Marketing Cloud to Microsoft Azure. This one move is a big one for Microsoft, as it persistently tries to get a hold of a market largely dominated by AWS.

The fact that Salesforce is now in partnership with Microsoft even as it’s in business with AWS at the same time, makes it clear that business needs will always come first and will be largely considered over anything else.

It’s also worth mentioning that at the moment of writing Microsoft stock is trading at 149.67 USD (+1.09 %) while Amazon stock is losing its value. It is trading at 1 749.97 USD (0.26 %).

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Tolu Ajiboye
Author: Tolu Ajiboye

Tolu is a cryptocurrency and blockchain enthusiast based in Lagos. He likes to demystify crypto stories to the bare basics so that anyone anywhere can understand without too much background knowledge. When he's not neck-deep in crypto stories, Tolu enjoys music, loves to sing and is an avid movie lover.

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