- Technology

Pentagon will “reconsider” parts of the $10 billion JEDI contract

Amazon has already convinced a judge to temporarily halt Microsoft’s work on the JEDI contract. Now, the Pentagon is launching a 120-day review of the contract. It’s unknown whether this will lead to another bidding war or if Microsoft will keep its $10 billion prize.
The Pentagon has filed court documents indicating that it wants to reconsider the $10 billion Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure (JEDI) contract as first reported by CNN Business. According to the court documents, the DoD “wishes to reconsider its award decision in response to the other technical challenges presented by AWS.”

This is obviously good news for Amazon who aggressively challenged the award in court, claiming that Microsoft won the contract because of political bias from President Trump. The company argued that the President exerted “improper pressure” due to his feud with Amazon CEO and Washington Post owner, Jeff Bezos.

Consequently, Amazon notched an initial victory last month when a judge temporarily halted Microsoft’s work on the contract due to Amazon’s complaints. The exact reasoning behind the injunction is unknown.

“We look forward to complete, fair, and effective corrective action that fully insulates the re-evaluation from political influence and corrects the many issues affecting the initial flawed award,” Amazon said in response to the Pentagon’s court filings.

Microsoft also responded saying, “We believe the Department of Defense made the correct decision when they awarded the contract. However, we support their decision to reconsider a small number of factors as it is likely the fastest way to resolve all issues and quickly provide the needed modern technology to people across our armed forces.”

Although multiple cloud vendors initially competed for the massive JEDI contract, Amazon was the prohibitive favorite. The company already scored a huge win in 2013, winning a $600 million contract with the Central Intelligence Agency and becoming the sole cloud provider for the United States Intelligence Community. However, it was Microsoft who ended up landing the JEDI contract in a large boost to their Azure portfolio.

The Pentagon requested 120 days to review the contract. Despite Amazon being the primary force behind the reassessment, the DoD doesn’t plan to discuss the decision with either Amazon or Microsoft.

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