Amazon Web Services has filed a lawsuit contesting the Pentagon’s decision to award a cloud computing contract to rival Microsoft in late October. A spokesperson for the company told CBS News that the evaluation process for awarding the $10 billion contract “contained clear deficiencies, errors, and unmistakable bias.”
“[Amazon Web Services] is uniquely experienced and qualified to provide the critical technology the U.S. military needs,” the spokesperson said in a statement. “We also believe 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. 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.”
The lawsuit’s complaint is under seal. In a separate filing, the company explained the request, writing that the documents contain sensitive and proprietary information, as well as trade secrets and confidential financial information, which “would cause severe competitive harm” if released.
The project, known as Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure, or JEDI, will store and process massive amounts of classified data, and is intended to facilitate the military’s use of artificial intelligence for planning and fighting.
JEDI drew bids from Microsoft, Amazon, Oracle, and IBM. Oracle and IBM were eliminated early in the process, leaving Microsoft and Amazon to battle for the contract.
President Trump became involved in the bidding in July, when he announced the administration would “take a very long look” at the process after other companies told him the contract “wasn’t competitively bid.” Mr. Trump has been clear about his distaste for Amazon and Jeff Bezos, who also owns The Washington Post.
In the lawsuit, Amazon appears to reference Mr. Trump’s involvement. In a motion to file exhibits on CDs, the company includes three video exhibits of Mr. Trump speaking: one from a 2016 campaign rally in Texas, another from July 2019 comments to the press and a third from the October 29, 2019 confirmation testimony of Department of Defense Chief Information Officer Dana Deasy. The company also cites a July 21, 2019 clip from Fox News’ “Swamp Watch” segment.