Microsoft, Amazon still in the running for Pentagon's $10B JEDI contract

While Amazon and Microsoft made the cut for the Pentagon's $10 billion cloud services contract, Oracle and IBM did not.

The U.S. Department of Defense announced on Wednesday that Amazon and Microsoft met the minimum requirements to win its cloud contract that's known as the JEDI (Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure) project.

Microsoft and Amazon have been the front runners for the JEDI contract due to the depth of their cloud technologies and higher government security clearances.

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According to a story by Bloomberg, the Pentagon had previously said it would announce the sole winner this month, but that announcement has been pushed back to mid-July, according to a Defense Department spokeswoman.

The Pentagon put out an RFP for one vendor to manage its cloud needs, which includes a primary data repository for the military services worldwide, according to Bloomberg.

The process was slowed after investigations and a legal battle. The Pentagon found potential ethical violations by a former Amazon Web Services employee who had worked on JEDI during a stint at the Defense Department, according to a New York Times story. Those potential violations were referred to Office of Inspector General for further investigation. The Pentagon spokeswoman said that employee had “no adverse impact on the integrity of the acquisition process.” 

In December, Oracle field a lawsuit in the U.S. Court of Federal Claims that alleged there were conflicts of interests and unfair requirements in the contract process.

That lawsuit came on the heels of companies, including Oracle, lobbying the Defense Department to split the contract among several cloud providers instead of awarding it to just one. The Defense Department said splitting up the contract would slow down the process and cause a delay in providing the new capabilities to the military branches.