Pentagon stalls $10 bn cloud contract eyed by Amazon

Pentagon pushes pause on $10b AI tech deal

Pentagon stalls $10 bn cloud contract eyed by Amazon

The Pentagon reportedly announced that it was hitting a pause on the award of a recently contested United States dollars 10 million contract for next-Gen cloud computing services involving the military until the defense administration could review the entire matter put forth by the other participating companies.

Oracle Corp lobbied aggressively and expressed concerns about the award process for the contract, including asking about the role of a former Amazon employee who worked on the project at the Defense Department but then recused himself, then later left the Defense Department and returned to Amazon Web Services.

The move to stall the contract process came a week after Mark Esper was confirmed as the new US Secretary of Defence.

"Holding his promise to Members of Congress and the American public, Secretary Esper is trying on the Joint Enterprise Protection Infrastructure (JEDI) program", Smith stated in an announcement on Thursday.

Trump has complained that the process is allegedly biased in favor of Amazon, which owns the Washington Post, and whom Trump regularly rails against. "No decision will be made on the program until he has completed his examination".

Amazon chief Bezos has defended the company's bid for the contract, saying it was important to support USA defence efforts, even if it is unpopular. "This is a great country and it does need to be defended", Bezos said late previous year at a conference in San Francisco.

Amazon now operates cloud-computing at the Central Intelligence Agency, and its experience there was one of the reasons for its consideration as a contract victor for the far larger project at the Pentagon. "If big tech companies are going to turn their back on the US Department of Defense, this country is going to be in trouble". Many speculate that this is because President Trump's feud with Jeff Bezos, the tech empire's CEO.

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