In the News: Stacy Mitchell
March 11th, 2018
Media Outlet: The Hill
Amazon is a gargantuan company with its hands in everything from e-books to shipping to television and movies. The next big move the company is making is in a government contract for cloud computing. In this story for The Hill, Ali Breland reached out to the Institute for Local Self-Reliance’s Community-Scaled Economy initiative director and organization co-director Stacy Mitchell for her thoughts on the matter.
Here are her contributions:
Antitrust critics fear that a winner-take-all contract for the Defense Department’s cloud computing needs could help tech giant Amazon corner the government contract market even further.
The winner of the contract, which the DOD updated its position on last week, in its current form would give its winner control over serving the Pentagon’s cloud computing system as it switches over from an older IT system. The agency predicts that the contract will be worth billions.
Amazon competitors like IBM and Microsoft have been pushing for a multi-party contract that would split cloud-computing services between several companies. They argue that leaving the contract in the hands of a single provider unnecessarily increases cybersecurity risks.
“It’s certainly an indication that Amazon has enormous political power,” said Stacy Mitchell of the Institute for Local Self-Reliance, a research group that advocates for local businesses and tracks Amazon’s movements in government. “They have translated their corporate power and wealth into political power.”
“The fact that the process was accelerated and opaque and that other bidders didn’t have the opportunity to get involved and weigh in on it — it seems to be an indication that Amazon has an inside track to a competitive bidding process,” she argued.