Amazon announced Thursday night plans to protest the Trump administration’s decision to award a coveted $10-billion cloud project to Microsoft rather than the mega online shopping company.
President Donald Trump’s alleged bias against the company’s founder, billionaire Jeff Bezos, played a part in the Department of Defense’s move, the company argued in a statement. Amazon officially lodged a complaint with the U.S. Court of Federal Claims.
“It’s critical for our country that the government and its elected leaders administer procurements objectively and in a manner that is free from political influence,” Drew Herdener, the Amazon spokesman, said in a press statement.
Herdener added: “Numerous aspects of the JEDI evaluation process contained clear deficiencies, errors and unmistakable bias — and it’s important that these matters be examined and rectified.” (RELATED: Trump Admin Gives $10 Billion Cloud Computing Project To Microsoft)
Amazon was long considered a front-runner for the so-called Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure, or JEDI. The decision to give Microsoft the deal came in October after Trump, a critic of Bezos, instructed the Defense Department in August to put the contract on hold.
Bezos’s company is playing for keeps, largely because Trump’s decision could completely reshape an enormous section of Amazon’s position in the cloud-computing industry. Microsoft is in a strong position to win future federal cloud-computing projects.
Trump’s past criticism of Bezos will give Amazon grounds to protest the award, Price Floyd, a former head of public affairs at the Pentagon who consulted for Amazon, told reporters in October.
“He’s the commander-in-chief, and he hasn’t been subtle about his hostility toward Amazon,” Floyd said.
Controversy plagued the cloud computing program.
Oracle, a computing giant, stated in a May complaint that former Defense Department official Deap Ubhi was offered shares in Amazon and a salary with the tech giant while he was finding a company to help build out JEDI. Ubhi never recused himself, according to the document. And then the president found out about the deal.
White House officials showed Trump a document in July that connects Ubhi and others to a ploy awarding Amazon the contract. The document is identical to one from Oracle lobbyist Kenneth Glueck, an executive vice president with the company. The Daily Caller News Foundation independently confirmed the existence of the charts.
The Defense Department has not responded to the DCNF’s request for comment.
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