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Amazon, Microsoft final bidders for US Defense Department's US$10b cloud computing contract
[SEATTLE] The Pentagon said on Wednesday that Amazon and Microsoft were the final candidates for a hotly contested US$10 billion contract to bring modern cloud computing to the Defense Department.
IBM and Oracle had also bid for the project, known as the joint enterprise defence infrastructure, or JEDI. But the Defense Department concluded that they did not meet the minimum requirements for the programme.
A Pentagon spokesman, Elissa Smith, also said an Amazon employee who had worked on JEDI during a stint at the Defense Department had "no adverse impact on the integrity of the acquisition process". The department had been investigating a potential conflict in response to a lawsuit brought by Oracle that accused the employee, Deap Ubhi, of having undue influence.
The Pentagon had asked the court to pause the case while it investigated, and will now ask the court to lift the stay and proceed. The contract will be awarded in mid-July at the earliest, Ms Smith said.
She also said the Pentagon had come across potential ethical violations by the former employee and referred them to its Office of Inspector General for further investigation. Amazon said Mr Ubhi declined to comment.
The JEDI project is one of the largest federal information technology contracts in history. The Pentagon's migration to the cloud drew the attention of the biggest tech companies from the moment it was announced in 2017. The contract will go to only one cloud vendor, even though many big companies prefer to work with multiple cloud providers.