#Security TV: “Pentagon hands Microsoft $10bn ‘war cloud’ deal, snubs Amazon”

SAN FRANCISCO: The Pentagon awarded Microsoft a $10 billion cloud computing contract, snubbing early front-runner Amazon, whose competitive bid drew criticism from President Donald Trump and its business rivals.

Bidding for the huge project, known as Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure, or JEDI, pitted leading tech titans Microsoft, Amazon, Oracle and IBM against one another.

The giant contract has attracted more attention than most, sparked by speculation early in the process that Amazon would be the sole winner of the deal. Tech powerhouses Oracle and IBM pushed back with their own bids and also formally protested the bidding process last year.

Oracle later challenged the process in federal court, but lost.

Trump waded into the fray in July, saying that the administration would “take a very long look” at the process, saying he had heard complaints. Trump has frequently expressed his ire for Amazon and founder Jeff Bezos, who also owns the Washington Post. At the time, he said other companies told him that the contract “wasn’t competitively bid.”

Defence Secretary Mark Esper recused himself from the controversial bidding process earlier this week, citing a conflict of interest because his son works for one of the companies that originally bid.

The JEDI system will store and process vast amounts of classified data, allowing the US military to use artificial intelligence to speed up its war planning and fighting capabilities. more

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