Amazon is set to dispute the Pentagon’s decision to give a massive, $10 billion contract to Microsoft for cloud services.
The Federal Times reported today that the CEO of Amazon’s cloud services branch said at an internal meeting that the company would “protest the decision and push the government to shine a light on what really happened.” Amazon has reportedly already filed the paperwork to fight the decision.
The winner of the contract is set to build the Defense Department’s Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure (JEDI), which will overhaul the agency’s cloud services. “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,” an Amazon spokesperson told the Federal Times.
Amazon was seen as a top contender for the contract, but some evidence has pointed to President Trump’s involvement in the process.
Trump, who publicly and frequently criticizes Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, reportedly stepped in to halt the bidding process in the face of lobbying efforts. Trump himself said the administration was getting “tremendous complaints from other companies” about the contract process.
Since then, more questions have emerged: a new book claims that Trump told his former Defense Secretary James Mattis to “screw Amazon” on the contract.
Trump’s animosity toward Amazon is well documented. In 2017, he claimed that deals between Amazon and the Postal Service had made USPS “dumber and poorer.” A 2018 Axios report characterized Trump as “obsessed” with the company.
The reports of Trump’s involvement could give Amazon room to argue that the bidding process was improper. While the company might not be successful, with $10 billion on the line, it’s a chance Amazon seems willing to take.