The United States Department of Defence on Friday awarded a $10 billion (Rs 70,840 crore) cloud computing contract to Microsoft, choosing it over Amazon, months after President Donald Trump said he might intervene in the matter, The New York Times reported.

Trump has often criticised Amazon about some of its business practices and has not taken kindly to The Washington Post’s critical coverage of its presidency. Amazon’s founder Jeff Bezos owns the newspaper as a personal asset.

Apart from Microsoft and Amazon, technology companies such as IBM, Oracle and Google also lobbied hard to get the 10-year contract for the Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure, or JEDI. It is central to the Pentagon’s efforts to modernise its technology systems, and will replace the military’s aging computer networks with a single cloud system. Most of the military still operates on 1980s and 1990s computer systems.

Amazon, which built the Central Intelligence Agency’s cloud network and is also the world’s largest provider of cloud-computing services, was considered the front-runner. The company said it was surprised by the decision, BBC reported.

Now, follow and debate the day’s most significant stories on Scroll Exchange.