Amazon has challenged the awarding of a $10 billion cloud-computing deal to Microsoft by the Pentagon, claiming political bias affected the decision.
Reuters reports that Amazon is challenging the Pentagons’ decision to award a $10 billion cloud-computing deal to Microsoft, alleging that political bias affected the decision. The company filed a formal notice to protest the decision on the Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure Cloud (JEDI) this week.
Amazon Web Services’ CEO Andy Jassy said in a company-wide email that it would be challenging for a government body to be objective when awarding a contract when the President of the United States is disparaging one of the contestants. This is in reference to President Donald Trump’s criticism of Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos.
Amazon confirmed Jassy’s comments stating: “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.”
U.S. Defense Secretary Mark Esper has rejected the implication of any political bias in the decisionmaking process. Esper told a news conference in Seoul, South Korea: “I am confident it was conducted freely and fairly, without any type of outside influence.”
Esper removed himself from the decision-making process in October due to his son’s employment with one of the original contract applicants, IBM, which had previously bid for the contract and since left the competition.