After a 14-month search for a new headquarters location, Amazon picked Crystal City, Virginia, as one of its two new sites on Tuesday. The selection process may have seemed impartial, but some defense experts think it was largely predetermined to help Amazon secure a defense contract.
The DOD is currently shopping the Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure contract, or JEDI, to major tech companies. The winner would build the Pentagon, which is located near Crystal City, a cloud system to house data that's currently scattered around 400 of its centers. The contract would be worth as much as $10 billion over a decade.
It's possible Amazon picked Crystal City to position itself close to the Pentagon in case it does win the bid. And its chances are good, too. Insiders who've seen the contract said "everybody immediately knew that it was for Amazon," noting that it was one of the only companies that could meet the technical and financial specifications set by the DOD.
Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos has also pledged allegiance to the Department of Defense while other tech giants like Google have begun to distance themselves from the agency entirely. In October, Bezos said at a conference, "We are going to continue to support the DoD ... even when it's unpopular."
Additional reporting from Newsy affiliate CNN.