Report: Oracle Co-CEO Catz Raises Concerns Over Bidding Process With AWS In Pentagon Cloud Contract


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Oracle Co-CEO Safra Catz reportedly is concerned about how the bidding process works for large government cloud computing contracts.

During a private dinner Tuesday with President Donald Trump, Catz said Amazon seemed destined to win the competition for a large cloud services contract with the Pentagon, according to a report published by Bloomberg.

Redwood City, Calif.-based Oracle is going up against Amazon for the multiyear, multibillion-dollar U.S. Department of Defense cloud services contract.

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The report, which cited people familiar with the matter, said Trump listened to Catz and said he wants the bidding process to be fair.

White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders told reporters Wednesday that the president is not involved in the current competition over the Pentagon cloud contract. She added that the Defense Department “runs a competitive bidding process.”

Oracle declined to comment on the report, and Amazon did not respond to CRN's request for comment.

Competitors Microsoft and IBM also have voiced concerns that the Pentagon will favor Amazon and its industry-leading cloud business, Amazon Web Services. Pulling in $17.5 billion in revenue during 2017, AWS is Amazon's fastest-growing segment.

“We have no favorites. We want the best solution for the department,” Pentagon spokesperson Navy Commander Patrick Evans, said in response to the report.

Oracle in March lodged an official protest with the Government Accountability Office against a $950 million contract awarded to REAN Cloud, a Premier AWS partner. Oracle argued the procurement process violated government procedures to ensure competitive bidding because the Defense Department selected an implementation partner before deciding on the cloud provider that would host those workloads. REAN's contract was subsequently reduced to a smaller scope of work with a maximum value of $65 million.

Trump hasn't kept his disdain for AWS's parent company Amazon.com a secret. The president took to Twitter five times this week to criticize Amazon and its founder, Jeff Bezos, claiming that the company is costing the U.S. Postal Service money and is hurting brick-and-mortar retailers. Bezos is the owner of the Washington Post, a newspaper that Trump has also criticized for its coverage.

Financial analysts say that the Tweets have had an impact, sending Amazon's stock tumbling 7.4 percent over the past month. However, the company's stock climbed 2.3 percent Thursday morning.

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