Amazon fires back at IBM over $600M CIA cloud contract with court complaint

Summary:Amazon has filed a complaint in court in a bid to prevent Big Blue from snapping up a lucrative $600 million contract with one of the world's most elusive intelligence agencies.

In a bid to prevent the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency from reevaluating its future cloud contracts, which could see it being served to its rival, Amazon has complained to a U.S. court.

It comes just a few months after the Seattle, Wash.-based retail turned cloud giant was reportedly (at the time) awarded a $600 million contract by the U.S. government. IBM, as the main rival in the cloud space, objected and filed a complaint with the Government Accountability Office (GAO), which ultimately confirmed the bid was going ahead.

According to the latest from Federal Computer Weekly, the GAO was not entirely happy with the intelligence agency's deciding factors, and agreed that the CIA should take another look at the procurement process, which would give Big Blue another shot at winning the contract.

While we are aware of the project, details relating to the "private cloud" are understood to be classified.

Amazon brought the issue up with the final destination of such cases, the U.S. Court of Federal Claims, in efforts to challenge the need for "corrective action," as described by the business technology publication, following the GAO's recommendations. 

And while the CIA said it had followed what the GAO said by the book, it does not necessarily mean that IBM will win a second time around. Because of the clandestine work of the intelligence agency, procurement processes are not known. 

Topics: Amazon, Cloud, Government


Zack Whittaker is a writer-editor for ZDNet, and sister sites CNET and CBS News. He is based in the New York newsroom. His PGP key is: EB6CEEA5.

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