A tender for a ten billion dollar defense contract was awarded to Microsoft last year: Amazon Web Services came up short. In an attempt to undo the choice for Microsoft, AWS goes to court to at least temporarily prevent the contract from actually going ahead.
For the cloud project Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure (JEDI for short), the United States Department of Defense issued a tender. Microsoft and AWS were the two big contenders and given the cooperation in the past between the latter and the DOD, Amazon seemed to have won the contract. Nothing could be further from the truth, however, as Microsoft made the multi-billion dollar deal in 2019.
AWS already believed then that shocking mistakes had been made in awarding the contract to Microsoft, now Amazon is actually taking serious steps to prevent Microsoft from executing the contract. At the end of January a request for a temporary ban on the contract will be submitted, with an expected verdict on 11 February.
Intervention of President Trump
According to AWS, President Donald Trump would have put pressure on the DOD to choose Microsoft and made personal attacks on Amazon’s CEO, Jeff Bezos, behind the scenes.
Last year, when it was announced that AWS wouldn’t get the contract, Andy Jassy of AWS already announced that there had been a ‘significant amount of political influence’ in choosing Microsoft. That since ‘if you put the two platforms side by side and look at the core, you would have come up with a different final conclusion’.
Given the amount of the contract, it is no surprise that Amazon is doing everything in its power to prevent Microsoft from using it. With JEDI, the U.S. Department of Defense and a number of other branches would move to a dedicated cloud infrastructure, as would the use of new technology that will be provided by the contracted party.