Microsoft slams Amazon's Cloud arm for blocking $10bn Pentagon project

San Francisco, May 8 (IANS) Microsoft has come out in the open against ecommerce giant Amazon's Cloud arm, slamming Amazon Web Services (AWS) for once again challenging the US government's decision to award $10 billion Pentagon Cloud project to Satya Nadella-run enterprise - this time out of view from the public and directly with the US Department of Defense (DoD).


AWS has filed a bid protest directly to the Department of Defense, challenging "ambiguous aspects" of the Pentagon's revised solicitation for its Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure (JEDI) contract given to Microsoft in October last year.


AWS' fresh challenge comes after the Department of Defense's Inspector General in mid-April said that Microsoft's win of the prestigious JEDI contract was not influenced by US President Donald Trump as alleged by Amazon, and was completely legal.


In a statement, Frank X. Shaw who is Corporate Vice President, Communications at Microsoft said that this latest roadblock is disappointing but not surprising.


"We received notice on Tuesday that Amazon has filed yet another protest - this time, out of view of the public and directly with the DoD - about their losing bid for the JEDI cloud contract. If their latest complaint mirrors the arguments Amazon made in court, it's likely yet another attempt to force a re-do because they bid high and lost the first time," emphasized Shaw.


He slammed AWS, saying that the only thing that's certain about Amazon's new complaint is that it will force American warfighters to wait even longer for the 21st-century technology they need - "perpetuating Amazon's record of putting its own interests ahead of theirs".


Shaw said that the latest filing with DoD is another example of Amazon trying to bog down JEDI in complaints, litigation and other delays designed to force a do-over to rescue its failed bid.


"Think about it: Amazon spent the better part of last month fighting in court to prevent the DoD from taking a 120-day pause to address a concern flagged by the judge and reevaluate the bids. Amazon fought for a complete re-do and more delay. Amazon lost. The judge granted the DoD's request for a timeout in the litigation to address her concerns," explained Shaw.


AWS earlier this year sought 'preliminary injunction' from the court to temporarily block Microsoft from starting work on the JEDI project.


Amazon also filed a suit with the US Court of Federal Claims contesting the decision.


In its complaint against the US government decision, Amazon alleged Trump abused his position to put "improper pressure" on decision-makers for personal gains and show his hatred towards Jeff Bezos who owns The Washington Post.


Shaw further said: "From the DoD's independent Inspector General's report, to the court's granting of a preliminary injunction, to refusing to even give the DoD a chance to address court's narrowly scoped concerns, you have to ask, When will enough be enough for Amazon? When will they say that they've been heard?"


As AWS spokesperson was quoted as saying in media reports that the company is committed to ensuring it receives a fair and objective review on an award decision that the court found to be flawed.


"AWS repeatedly sought clarity from the DoD around ambiguous aspects of the amended solicitation and the DoD refused to answer our questions. We simply want to ensure a common understanding of the DoD's requirements and eliminate ambiguity that could impact a fair evaluation," said the spokesperson.

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