Bezos blames Trump for ‘screwing Amazon’ out of $10bn Pentagon contract

Amazon calls for a new award decision due to US president’s ‘personal vendetta’

Amazon founder Jeff Bezos has blamed Donald Trump for losing the Pentagon cloud contract, worth $10bn (£7.6bn, €9bn).

In a complaint filed in the US Court of Federal Claims, Bezos accused Trump of launching “repeated public and behind-the-scenes attacks” to steer the Pentagon contract away from Amazon Web Services (AWS), in a bid to “harm his perceived political enemy”.

Bezos owns the Washington Post, which has often spoken out against Trump, prompting the president’s creation of the term “fake news”.

AWS said it lost the Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure (JEDI) contract to Microsoft due to Trump’s “personal vendetta against Mr Bezos, Amazon and the Washington Post”.

The online giant is now calling for the US defence department (DoD) to terminate Microsoft’s contract, stating “basic justice requires re-evaluation of proposals and a new award decision”.

The filing said: “The question is whether the president of the United States should be allowed to use the budget of DoD to pursue his own personal and political ends.

“DoD’s substantial and pervasive errors are hard to understand and impossible to assess separate and apart from the President’s repeatedly expressed determination to, in the words of the President himself, ‘screw Amazon’.”

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Pentagon spokeswoman Elissa Smith said in a statement on Monday that the decision to select Microsoft “was made by an expert team of career public servants and military officers” and without “external influence”.

“The department is confident in the Jedi award and remains focused on getting this critical capability into the hands of our warfighters as quickly and efficiently as possible,” Smith said.

It will be interesting to see if the complaint by AWS has an impact on Microsoft’s share price, while the US Court of Federal Claims considers its decision. It could also have bullish impact on Amazon, which hopes to have a second chance at bidding for the highly profitable contract.

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