Amazon Challenges Microsoft Award for Large Pentagon Contract

Amazon denounces "an important political influence in this process". An allusion to the US president's public hostility to the company and its owner, Jeff Bezos, who also owns the Washington Post.

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Amazon on Thursday (November 14th) challenged the Pentagon's allocation to Microsoft of a $ 10 billion (€ 9 billion) online data storage (cloud) deal, for which the online and offline trading giant market leader was considered favorite. Nicknamed "JEDI contract", it aimed to modernize over a period of ten years all the computer systems of the US armed forces in a system managed by artificial intelligence.

"Many aspects of the contract evaluation process had obvious shortcomings, errors and unambiguous prejudices. It is important that these issues be examined and rectified ", said a spokesman for Amazon. Amazon said it notified the court last week of its intention to challenge the way the bid was handled, denouncing "A significant political influence in this process". An allusion to the US president's public hostility to Amazon, accused of "Do not pay taxes", and to Jeff Bezos, owner of the daily Washington Post, target of violent criticism of the Republican billionaire.

Last July, Trump told a press conference that he had asked advisors to investigate the JEDI contract, saying competing companies had a hard time with Amazon.

The evaluation was conducted "Freely and justly, without outside influence"US Defense Minister Mark Esper said Friday during a press conference in Seoul.

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Amazon # 1 in the cloud

Despite this annoyance, Amazon – which already provides secure servers to other US government agencies, including the CIA – remains "Fully engaged" in defense. It is still the number one cloud, with 47% of the market, against 22% for Microsoft and 7% for Google, according to the bank Goldman Sachs.

"Microsoft has closed the gap on its competitor. But the defense sector remains a vast field of possibilities for Amazon, decrypts Daniel Ives, an analyst at financial services company Wedbush Securities.

Other markets are planned, including the renewal of the CIA contract from 2020. Amazon will be obliged to share it, but its amount could explode to more than 10 billion dollars.

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