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Amazon's Suing Pentagon After Microsoft Won the JEDI Contract



Amazon is taking legal action against Pentagon after the latter awarded the JEDI contract to Microsoft.

But, what exactly is the JEDI contract, and why are Silicon Valley’s tech giants fighting over it?

The controversial Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure (JEDI) contract is worth $10 billion. The planned project involves creating and maintaining an AI-powered cloud-based weapons platform for the Pentagon.

It’s the biggest cloud contract ever, which could translate into ten years of government business. Expectedly, some of the top tech companies in the world, including Amazon Web Services, Microsoft, and Google wanted to secure the contract.

The Battle to Secure the Contract

At the time, AWS was the frontrunner to win the bid, and that’s understandable. In the past years, Amazon had established itself as the industry leader in cloud infrastructure.

Google later dropped out of the bid, citing employee outrage. Then, the search engine giant admitted that it had issues getting the certification necessary to accept the contract.

Other tech companies like Oracle and IBM were dissatisfied with the JEDI requirement, which appears to favor only Amazon. So, they made their complaints in multiple government reviews, including a federal court.

The Government Accountability Office (GAO) and the federal court rejected the lawsuit, making Amazon Pentagon’s best option as its cloud provider. That was the case until President Donald Trump got involved.

Why Did Amazon Lose the JEDI Contract?

It appears that the U.S. president’s animosity toward The Washington Post, which is owned by Amazon’s Jeff Bezos, has influenced Pentagon’s decision to award the JEDI contract to Microsoft Azure instead of Amazon Web Services.

A CNN report from July revealed an apparent attempt to turn President Trump against Amazon. According to CNN’s sources, some White House officials showed the President a document implying a conspiracy to award the $10-billion contract to Amazon.

While there’s a political side to the story, the technological perspective suggests that Microsoft did a phenomenal job. A former Pentagon official familiar with the JEDI contract told NPR that the Windows maker “hit the ball out of the park” in their bid.

It’s less likely that Amazon will drag the president’s personal dispute with Bezos in its legal battle with the Pentagon. However, people familiar with the case said that Amazon stands by its claim that AWS is well-suited to support Pentagon’s cloud computing project.

Read More: Amazon’s Search Advertising Will Grow While Others Shrink

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Sumbo Bello

Sumbo Bello is a creative writer who enjoys creating data-driven content for news sites. In his spare time, he plays basketball and listens to Coldplay.

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