What is the Jedi contract?
The JEDI project began with the $1 million contract award for Microsoft, meant as an initial step in a 10-year deal that could have reached $10 billion in value. The project that will replace it is a five-year program; Sherman said no exact contract value has been set but that it will be “in the billions.” Associated PressPentagon cancels disputed JEDI cloud contract with Microsoft
06 July, 2021 - 04:08pm
The world’s richest man reached a record $211 billion net worth Tuesday after Amazon.com Inc. shares rose 4.7% after the Pentagon announced it was canceling a cloud-computing contract with rival Microsoft Corp. The rally raised Bezos’s fortune by $8.4 billion, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.
The last time anyone in the Bloomberg ranking neared this amount was in January, when Tesla Inc.’s Elon Musk briefly hit $210 billion. The two men spent the first part of the year trading the top spot as the world’s richest person, but Bezos has cemented his hold on No. 1 since mid-March as Amazon shares climbed almost 20% during that time.
Soaring stock prices in recent months have boosted the fortunes of a group of tech titans including Musk. He remains in second place behind Bezos with a $180.8 billion net worth even as Tesla shares fell Tuesday. French luxury goods magnate Bernard Arnault is third at $168.5 billion.
Bezos’s record haul is even greater than during a 2020 Amazon stock surge, when his net worth topped out at $206.9 billion as the pandemic turbocharged the company’s price. Bezos, 57, officially stepped down as Amazon’s chief executive officer this week after a 27-year run. He still owns about 11% of the company and serves as the firm’s executive chairman.
The Pentagon said Tuesday it was scrapping a $10 billion cloud-computing contract awarded in 2019 to Microsoft Corp. after several years of wrangling between the government and some of the biggest U.S. tech companies over the deal. The decision indicates it planned to split the work between Microsoft and rival Amazon.
Read more: Pentagon Moves to Split Its Cloud Deal Between Microsoft, Amazon
MacKenzie Scott, Bezos’s ex-wife and the 15th-richest person in the world, saw her wealth jump $2.9 billion Tuesday, eclipsing the $2.7 billion she’s given away so far this year. It’s just a reminder that some billionaires can’t give their money away faster than they make it.
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The U.S. Defense Department canceled its $10 billion JEDI cloud-computing project on Tuesday, reversing the Trump-era award to Microsoft Corp and announcing a new contract expected to include its big tech rival Amazon.com. The contract awarded by the Pentagon in late 2019 has been on hold after Amazon filed a lawsuit challenging the decision under then-President Donald Trump. Trump publicly derided then-Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos and repeatedly criticized the company.
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06 July, 2021 - 03:09pm
Amazon had been widely expected to win the Department of Defense’s JEDI Cloud contract before the contract was awarded to Microsoft in 2019, according to Bernstein analyst Mark Moerdler. Amazon charged in court that former President Donald Trump intervened to make Microsoft the winner due to his personal distaste for Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, who is also the owner of the Washington Post.
“Unfortunately, the contract award was not based on the merits of the proposals and instead was the result of outside influence that has no place in government procurement,” an Amazon spokesperson told MarketWatch, noting that the company agrees with the Department of Defense’s Tuesday decision.
Microsoft said in a Tuesday blog post that “it’s clear the DoD trusts Microsoft and our technology.” The company is “confident that we’ll continue to be successful as the DoD selects partners for new work.”
The Department of Defense plans to solicit a new contract, the Joint Warfighter Cloud Capability, with Amazon and Microsoft competing for the job.
“We believe this is a clear positive for Amazon and potentially negative for the third-party data centers,” Raymond James analysts wrote in a note on the decision Tuesday. “We believe the shift to Amazon further cements its position as a leading cloud provider, particularly to government agencies.”
Tuesday also marked the beginning of a new era for Amazon. Bezos stepped down from his role as CEO on Monday and officially passed the helm to Andy Jassy. Cloud computing should remain a key focus for Amazon under Jassy, who formerly headed Amazon Web Services and built it into a cloud juggernaut.
Shares of AMC Entertainment Holdings Inc. fell again Tuesday, erasing earlier gains, after the movie theater chain disclosed that it will no longer ask for shareholder approval to sell more shares.
Emily Bary is a MarketWatch reporter based in New York.