Pentagon snubs Amazon, hands Microsoft $10 billion 'war cloud' deal
New Delhi : The Pentagon on Friday snubbed Amazon and awarded Microsoft with a $10 billion cloud computing contract. Amazon’s competitive bid drew criticism from President Donald Trump and its business rivals.
For the contract, Oracle and IBM had also pitched themselves against the Amazon and Microsoft.
There were speculations that Amazon will end up being the sole runner and winner of the deal. Tech giants Oracle and IBM pushed back with their own bids and also formally protested the bidding process last year.
Oracle later challenged the process in federal court, but lost .
In July, Donald Trump pitched in his thoughts and said that the administration would “take a very long look” at the process, saying he had heard complaints. Trump has frequently expressed his ire for Amazon and founder Jeff Bezos, who also owns the Washington Post. At the time, he said other companies told him that the contract “wasn’t competitively bid.”
The Pentagon emphasized in an announcement that the process was fair and followed procurement guidelines. It noted that over the past two years, it has awarded more than $11 billion in ten separate cloud-computing contracts, and said the JEDI award “continues our strategy of a multi-vendor, multi-cloud environment.”
The latter statement appeared designed to address previous criticism about awarding such a large deal to one company.
Amazon on the other hand said that they are surprised by the Pentagon's decision.
"AWS is the clear leader in cloud computing, and a detailed assessment purely on the comparative offerings clearly lead to a different conclusion," Amazon spokesman Drew Herdener said in a statement.
"We remain deeply committed to continuing to innovate for the new digital battlefield where security, efficiency, resiliency, and scalability of resources can be the difference between success and failure."
Oracle and IBM had withdrawn their bids earlier, leaving Microsoft and Amazon to battle it out at the end. Google decided last year not to compete for the contract, saying it would conflict with its AI ethics principles. Google employees have been especially vocal in protesting the company’s involvement with government contracts.