Tuesday, September 29, 2020

Amazon's formal challenge to massive Pentagon award uses videos that mark potential influence exerte

Nov 23. 2019
For the first time, Amazon directly linked comments by the president to the award of the Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure (JEDI) contract to Microsoft last month.
For the first time, Amazon directly linked comments by the president to the award of the Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure (JEDI) contract to Microsoft last month.
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By The Washington Post · Jay Greene, Aaron Gregg

WASHINGTON - Amazon on Friday cited comments by President Donald Trump at a rally and to journalists as it pursues its challenge tothe Pentagon's surprise decision to award a lucrative contract to rival Microsoft last month.

For the first time, Amazon directly linked comments by the president to the award of the Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure (JEDI) contract to Microsoft last month. Though Amazon filed its protest under seal, it also notified the Court of Federal Claims that it intends to use four videos as exhibits, including one of Trump at a February 2016 campaign rally, as well as a Fox News host urging him to prevent the Pentagon from awarding the contract to the online retail giant.

The e-commerce giant formally filed a protest with the Court of Federal Claims to protest the award of the cloud-computing contract, following through on a threat it made last week. It did so under seal to protect trade secrets.

In a statement, the e-commerce giant repeated its claims that "unmistakable bias" and "political influence" tainted the decision-making process. Trump has repeatedly criticized Amazon, whose chief executive, Jeff Bezos, owns The Washington Post.

Amazon also repeated its suggestion that the award of the JEDI contract to Microsoft was improperly influenced by President Donald Trump.

"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," Amazon spokesman Drew Herdener reiterated, issuing the same statement he gave a week ago. "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 JEDI contract could be worth up to $10 billion over 10 years. Amazon, which pioneered the commercial cloud-computing market business and dominates it with a 48 percent market share, according to market-research firm Gartner, had been seen as the most likely winner. It said it would protest after Microsoft, which holds a 15.5 percent share of the market, got the contract.

Microsoft also filed to intervene in the protest, giving it an opportunity to participate in the case.

 

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