U.S. Defense Secretary Mark Esper on Friday dismissed claims that the Pentagon’s $10 billion cloud computing contract for Microsoft, not Amazon, was biased.
“I believe this operation was free and fair, without any external influence,” Espe said at a news conference in Seoul. “
Amazon says political factors are hampering the fair signing process. U.S. President Donald Trump is understood to have long been critical of Amazon and its founder, Jeff Bezos.
At a company-wide meeting Thursday, Andy Jassy, chief executive of Amazon Web Services, said it would be a challenge for U.S. government agencies to objectively award contracts if the president denigrated one of the contestants, an Amazon spokesman said.
Before Microsoft’s surprise win, Amazon was considered the best candidate for the cloud computing contract.
Amazon said on Thursday it had filed a notice with the U.S. Federal Claims Court in protest at the U.S. Department of Defense’s decision to award the cloud computing contract to Microsoft.
The U.S. Department of Defense announced last month that it was awarding the 10-year contract to Microsoft, a major victory for the company. The contract, known as the Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure (JEDI), will provide the Pentagon with basic services and cloud-enabled cloud services, to the ability of artificial intelligence processing, machine learning, and task-critical workloads.