Donald Trump is understood to have instructed his secretary of defense to “screw Amazon” out of a $10 billion cloud contract, which was awarded to Microsoft on Friday.
Amazon Web Services (AWS), the retailers lucrative cloud computing arm, was largely seen as the front-runner to win the Pentagon’s Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure (JEDI) contract, after other contenders including IBM and Oracle were ruled out by the Defense Department.
On Friday reports emerged that Microsoft had beaten the market leader AWS to the contract, due to be worth $10 billion over 10 years, sending shares in the company jumping three per cent while Amazon stocks dipped one per cent.
This move “surprised” AWS, as it had already secured a contract with the CIA in 2013 and has been certified at the highest existing security clearance level, while Microsoft had not.
According to an upcoming book about the defense secretary James Mattis “Holding The Line: Inside Trump’s Pentagon with Secretary Mattis”, written by his speech writer Guy Snodgrass, Trump instructed Mattis to “screw Amazon” out of a chance to bid on the contract.
The book reportedly goes on to state that when relaying Trump’s request to Snodgrass, Mattis said “We’re not going to do that. This will be done by the book, both legally and ethically”.
Amazon and its founder Jeff Bezos have long drawn the ire of Trump and his administration, largely due to the often critical coverage published in the Amazon-owned Wall Street Journal.