Republicans Want To Revive Collusion Case Against Amazon

Two Republican lawmakers are pressing the Justice Department and the Pentagon to reopen a probe into conflicts of interest between Amazon ex-employees and consultants and the government architects of a Department of Defense’s (DOD) US$10 billion Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure (JEDI) cloud computing program.

Sen. Mike Lee (Republican – Utah) and Rep. Ken Buck (Republican – Colorado), leaders on antitrust subcommittees in their respective chambers, sent letters on May 4 to Attorney General Merrick Garland and acting Defense Department Inspector General Sean O’Donnell as well as Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos asking for information, documents and, in the case of the Justice Department, a probe into possible anticompetitive behavior on the part of Amazon Web Services.

“We are concerned that Amazon may have attempted to monopolize one or more markets relating to government and/or commercial cloud computing services by improperly influencing the Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure procurement process,” Senators Lee and Buck wrote.

The letters were released on May the Fourth because of the date’s memetic association with the Star Wars saga, Lee indicated in a hashtag of a tweet promoting a Wall Street Journal article on the allegations.

The letter to Garland and the letters to Bezos and O’Connell detail allegations of interference by former defense officials with ties to Amazon that were the subject of a DOD OIG investigation and circulated in press reports after the JEDI request for proposals was released and before the eventual award to Microsoft in Oct. 2019.

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