A judge just put Microsoft’s huge cloud deal with the Department of Defense on ice.
The temporary order comes in response to a motion filed by Amazon in January, in which Amazon argued the Pentagon’s evaluation process for the JEDI (Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure) cloud contract, which led it to pick Microsoft, was tainted by “clear deficiencies, errors and unmistakable bias.”
Amazon wants the Defense Department to review “the numerous evaluation errors and blatant political interference that impacted the JEDI award decision,” a spokesperson for the company said. A number of businesses had competed for the potentially $10 billion contract, including Amazon, IBM, and Google. Microsoft ultimately won the war money in October, which brings us to Amazon’s protests.
Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos is a frequent target of attacks by President Trump, in part because Bezos also owns the Washington Post.
According to the e-commerce giant’s top spokesperson, Jay Carney, Amazon’s goal is to ensure the Pentagon’s selection process is “free of political interference,” CNBC reports. The executive said yesterday, “All we’re trying to do through this protest and this request for a legal review is to ensure that a proper decision was made on behalf of U.S. taxpayers.”
See, it’s about you, the taxpayers.
In response to the temporary block today, Microsoft communications VP Frank X. Shaw argued the process was fair in a statement sent to Fast Company (emphasis ours):
While we are disappointed with the additional delay we believe that we will ultimately be able to move forward with the work to make sure those who serve our country can access the new technology they urgently require. We have confidence in the Department of Defense, and we believe the facts will show they ran a detailed, thorough and fair process in determining the needs of the warfighter were best met by Microsoft.
Fast Company has reached out to Amazon to find out why it believes it can do a better job of meeting “the needs of the warfighter” than Microsoft.