Grab your popcorn, folks. The battle between Microsoft and Amazon over Microsoft’s the U.S. Department of Justice’s Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure (JEDI) contract award just got hotter still.
As you may recall—I barely wrote the post an hour ago—Microsoft vice president Frank Shaw just alleged that Amazon continues to fight the JEDI contract award out of the public eye. Shaw says that Amazon has already lost this fight, and that the DOJ decision is final. Worse, he says that Amazon overbid on its proposed JEDI contract, and that that was the real reason Amazon lost the bid.
Well, Amazon may be sneaking around trying to reverse history through back channels, but it just made its reply to Shaw’s accusations public.
“Since we filed our protest, we’ve been clear in our intent: we don’t think the JEDI award was adjudicated fairly, we think political interference blatantly impacted the award decision, and we’re committed to ensuring the evaluation receives a fair, objective, and impartial review,” the Amazon retort begins. “Recently, Microsoft has published multiple self-righteous and pontificating blog posts that amount to nothing more than misleading noise intended to distract those following the protest.”
In return, Amazon offers a volley of what it calls “facts.” There are too many to publish, and most of them are, frankly, kind of nonsense. But the one thing Amazon does have going for it is that the award was clearly politically motivated: The White House prevented the internal DOJ review from investigating those claims. So its conclusion is, by definition, not to be believed.
And this is just nuts:
“Microsoft is doing an awful lot of posturing,” the Amazon post reiterates. “We understand why. Nobody knowledgeable and objective believes they have the better offering. And, this has been further underscored by their spotty operational performance during the COVID-19 crisis (and in 2020 YTD). Microsoft wants us to just be quiet and go away. But, as we’ve said all along, we believe it’s critical for the DoD, the country, and future U.S. Government procurements that agencies make decisions free from political retribution and interference, and based fairly and on the facts.”
My takeaway here is that we should credit Microsoft for really getting under Amazon’s skin: Amazon was clearly working behind the scenes to try and reverse a final decision on this contract. And when Microsoft called it out for doing so, it exploded publicly and in an unprofessional manner.
I think there are two facts, one supporting Amazon, one supporting Microsoft.
The DOJ decision was absolutely politically motivated. But Microsoft did under-bid Amazon. OK, three. These companies cannot freaking stand each other.
That’s it. Everything else—including which company has the better or more suitable technology—is just opinion.