There are few areas of government murkier than military procurement. Inefficiency in the space, and by design, is an understatement. The Amazon deal might actually be a step in the right direction in some ways. (That’s how inefficient government procurement is.)
But the emphasis is on the word “might.” Handing Amazon what amounts to a massive military procurement contract, the market is $53 billion, (it’s probably larger, this is the government we’re talking about of course) is a huge deal and basically guarantees gigantic (taxpayer backed) revenue streams to the company. Classic crony capitalism.
Consider also that Jeff Bezos owns The Washington Post.
(From The Hill)
Lawmakers put the finishing touches this week on military funding legislation that contains a provision that stands to significantly benefit Amazon.
The amendment, Section 801 of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), would help Amazon establish a tight grip on the lucrative, $53 billion government acquisitions market, experts say.
The provision, dubbed the “Amazon amendment” by experts, according to an article in The Intercept, would allow for the creation of an online portal that government employees could use to purchase everyday items such as office supplies or furniture.
This government-only version of Amazon, which could potentially include a few other websites, would give participating companies direct access to the $53 billion market for government acquisitions of commercial products.
“It hands an enormous amount of power over to Amazon,” said Stacy Mitchell of the Institute for Local Self-Reliance, a research group that advocates for local businesses.