Amazon’s formal protest of Microsoft’s victory in a $10 billion Pentagon cloud computing contract cites President Donald Trump’s comments to supporters and reporters, as well as a Fox News host explicitly urging Trump to keep the Pentagon from awarding the deal to Amazon.

The protest, filed Friday afternoon the U.S. Court of Federal Claims, was submitted under seal, but four video segments listed by Amazon in an exhibit provide a glimpse into its legal strategy.

Amazon is building a case to allege that the Defense Department was influenced by political pressure when it awarded the lucrative and contested cloud contract to Microsoft last month.Trump’s personal animosity toward the company ultimately led the Pentagon to select Microsoft for the contract. JEDI, as it’s called, is a 10-year contract to build cloud infrastructure for the military. Amazon was long seen as the front-runner for the deal until Microsoft emerged as the surprise winner in October.

In one clip cited by Amazon in court documents, Trump told reporters he was hearing criticism of the procurement process for JEDI. Trump said he was “getting tremendous complaints about the contract with the Pentagon and with Amazon … they’re saying it wasn’t competitively bid.”

A ProPublica investigation in August suggested Amazon and its CEO Jeff Bezos were close to the JEDI project since its inception. A new book written by a former aide to Defense Secretary James Mattis alleges that Trump called Mattis in the summer of 2018 and directed him to “screw Amazon” out of the contract.

Amazon and Microsoft, two Seattle-area companies with robust cloud businesses, were the two finalists for JEDI. Amazon Web Services was long seen as the frontrunner but last month DoD selected Microsoft’s Azure for the project in what many viewed as an upset.

The president is a frequent critic of …read more

Source:: GeekWire


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