Amazon claims bias from Trump after losing ‘war cloud’ contract to Microsoft
After awarding a sought-after 10-year, $10 billion defense contract to Microsoft, the U.S. Department of Defense is facing protests from Amazon, claiming that it was passed on due to President Trump’s personal bias against CEO Jeff Bezos.
The contract involved a 10-year project to build a so-called “war cloud” for the military, labeled “JEDI.” According to Geekwire, JEDI will migrate the Defense Department’s entire IT infrastructure to the cloud, while investing in artificial intelligence and machine learning within the military.
The DoD ultimately awarded the contract to Microsoft’s Azure cloud computing service. Amazon claims that the White House’s own bias against Bezos — and his ownership of The Washington Post — was ultimately was drove the decision.
President Trump has long been outspoken against Bezos, criticizing negative coverage from The Post, encouraging the paper’s employees to strike, and labeling Amazon a “big tax shelter.”
“I think when you have a sitting president who’s willing to publicly show his disdain for a company and the leader of a company, it’s very difficult for government agencies, including the DoD, to make an objective decision without fear of reprisal,” Amazon Web Services CEO Andy Jassy said at an employee meeting reported on by The Federal Times.
Additionally, a book from former Secretary of Defense James Mattis also alleges that Mattis was instructed by President Trump to “screw Amazon” out of winning the JEDI contract.
After the decision was announced in October, Amazon issued a statement saying that it was “surprised about this conclusion,” while representatives with Microsoft seemed surprised the company had won the contract.
An Amazon spokesperson told Geekwire that the company has filed formal paperwork challenging the DoD’s decision.
The selection process faced criticism from the likes of Oracle and Google, who both initially claimed that the process was biased in Amazon’s favor.