An under-the-radar $10 billion Pentagon plan to move all information to the cloud seems handmade for Amazon, revealing the company’s cozy relationship with the DOD and the accompanying business edge it has.
According to a Monday Vanity Fair report, the DOD wants to follow the CIA’s lead by consolidating all the information from 400 different servers in one secure location. The plan, called JEDI for Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure, will be a cash cow for the defense contractor that gets the bid.
However, the plan is reportedly crafted to ensure that only Amazon can meet its standards, including that applicant companies must already earn at least $2 billion from commercial cloud programs and offer the exact amount of RAM that Amazon does.
The specifications seem tailor made to edge out competitors like Microsoft and Google.
Per Vanity Fair, this may be due to the shoulder rubbing of top Amazon cats with DOD officials.
The plan was reportedly only put together when Defense Secretary Jim Mattis hired lobbyist Sally Donnelly, who has a professional history at Amazon. Mattis then flew to tour the Amazon headquarters and meet owner Jeff Bezos. Amazon says that the cloud project was not discussed on the visit. While the plan was being finalized, Donnelly’s former lobbying firm was bought by a company with ties to Amazon’s cloud services.
According to Vanity Fair, this deal is just one way in which heavy hitters like Amazon navigate the Washington swamp for their own gain. Last year, a so-called “Amazon amendment” was quietly tucked into a defense bill making Amazon the government’s go-to source of online shopping. That stipulation earns Amazon $53 billion annually.
Though President Donald Trump hates Bezos and rails against the Washington swamp, he seems to be unaware of the massive transactions happening in his own backyard.