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Amazon appeals $10-billion Pentagon contract won by Microsoft

Meanwhile, US defence secretary Mark Esper said on Friday the Pentagon awarded the contract to Microsoft after a fair competition. “I am confident it was conducted freely and fairly without any type of outside influence,” Esper told a news confere...

Agencies|
Nov 15, 2019, 11.01 PM IST
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Agencies
Pentagon
An aerial view of the Pentagon.
SAN FRANCISCO: Amazon is protesting the Pentagon’s decision to award a $10-billion cloud-computing contract to Microsoft, citing “unmistakable bias” in the process.

Amazon’s competitive bid for the “war cloud” project drew criticism from President Donald Trump and its business rivals. The project, formally called the Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure, or JEDI, pitted leading tech titans Microsoft, Amazon, Oracle and IBM against one another In a statement on Thursday, Amazon said that “numerous aspects” of the bidding process involved “clear deficiencies, errors, and unmistakable bias”. It added that “it’s important that these matters be examined and rectified.”

Meanwhile, US defence secretary Mark Esper said on Friday the Pentagon awarded the contract to Microsoft after a fair competition. “I am confident it was conducted freely and fairly without any type of outside influence,” Esper told a news conference in Seoul.

Amazon claims that politics got in the way of a fair contracting process. President Donald Trump has long criticised Amazon and its founder Jeff Bezos.

JEDI will store and process vast amounts of classified data, allowing the US military to use artificial intelligence to speed up its war planning and fighting capabilities.

Amazon was long thought to be the front-runner in the competition for the huge military contract. Its Amazon Web Services division is far ahead of second-place Microsoft in cloud computing, and Amazon has experience handling highly classified government data.

It survived earlier legal challenges after the defence department eliminated rival bidders Oracle and IBM and whittled the competition down to the two tech giants before choosing Microsoft in late October.

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