Legal experts and analysts are expecting Amazon to contest Microsoft’s win of a $10 billion Pentagon contract as early as next week. The online retailer and cloud provider was long considered the favorite, but protests from the likes of IBM and Oracle, as well as an internal review, muddied the waters.
“We’re surprised about this conclusion,” an AWS spokesperson said in a statement. “AWS is the clear leader in cloud computing, and a detailed assessment purely on the comparative offerings clearly lead to a different conclusion. We remain deeply committed to continuing to innovate for the new digital battlefield where security, efficiency, resiliency, and scalability of resources can be the difference between success and failure.”
According to a Business Insider source, the Amazon subsidiary is “still evaluating options” after losing the contract. It’s been a long and complex road to choosing the recipient, with accusations on both sides.
In its lawsuit, Oracle said Amazon has a conflict of interest due to a former Defense official leaving the department for the tech giant. It also highlighted that a single-vendor cloud solution was not necessary.
IBM’s complaint also surrounded the single-vendor nature of the contract. By doing so, it believed the Pentagon was restricting the competition, especially given the ten-year nature.
Also a factor are the words of President Donald Trump. As well as being an open critic of the company, his former Defense communicator alleges he directed Mattis to screw Amazon over on the contract.
Still, the challenge for AWS would be opposing the contract in a way that doesn’t open it again to other bidders. Arguing that it was flawed from the beginning could lead to a multi-vendor solution. Undoubtedly, it would be a complex challenge that could take a long time to resolve.