Amazon signals continued support for U.S. Defence Department
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Amazon signals continued support for U.S. Defence Department

In a public announcement this week, Amazon founder and big boss Jeff Bezos (also the world’s richest man) has stated that the company will “continue to support” the U.S. Defence Department. The ecommerce giant’s stance contrasts with another of Big Tech’s biggest names: Alphabet. Last week, Alphabet said it won’t seek some military contracts due to protests from employees. One contract it pulled out of the race for is the Pentagon’s Project Jedi, which is worth $10 billion over the next decade.

Amazon’s share price has appreciated by 51% so far this year

graph 1710 amazon

SOURCE: Yahoo Finance

Amazon is widely seen as the frontrunner in the competition for Project Jedi, and the odds of it winning extended with Alphabet’s exit. Rivals for the winner-takes-all deal still include IBM, Oracle, and Microsoft. Alphabet’s hand was forced in the matter, after significant employee protests about working with the military. Many of the company’s staff, still beholden (in spirit, if not actuality) by the old Google motto of ‘don’t be evil’, felt that these deals brought it dangerously close to morally questionable territory. Months earlier, the company decided not to renew a contract with the Pentagon that saw it working in Artificial Intelligence (AI) for use with drone strikes.

The Defence Department is a major client for Big Tech, and Amazon’s founder is clearly willing to step in where Google’s stepping out. At the Wired 25 Summit in San Francisco this Monday (where he was a surprise guest speaker), he told listeners:

"If U.S. tech companies turn their backs on the Department of Defence, this country is in trouble. This is a great country and it does need to be defended."

Disclosure

Dominion holds Amazon in its Global Trends Ecommerce Fund.


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