FirstFT: Pentagon cancels cloud deal

The Pentagon has cancelled the highly sensitive $10bn Jedi cloud computing contract that had been awarded to Microsoft, drawing a line under a contentious government bidding process that was marred by claims of interference from Donald Trump.

The US defence department yesterday said it was reversing its decision to hand over large parts of its data and communications to a single company and that it would start a new procurement process.

The decision could bring an end to the long-running legal dispute triggered by the decision in 2019 to award the so-called joint enterprise defence infrastructure contract solely to Microsoft.

“The department has determined that, due to evolving requirements, increased cloud conversancy and industry advances, the Jedi Cloud contract no longer meets its needs” — John Sherman, Pentagon acting chief information officer.

Five more stories in the news

1. Didi drops Didi lost one-fifth of its market value after Chinese regulators announced an investigation into the ride-hailing app that last week raised more than $4bn in a New York IPO. China sparked investor unease before the start of trading when it said it would tighten restrictions on overseas listings of companies that held sensitive data.

Line chart of US-listed ADR ($) showing Didi's roller coaster start on US markets

2. Saudi Arabia-UAE fallout So sour are relations between Riyadh and Abu Dhabi that neither side could agree on how Monday’s private discussions concluded between Opec members and allies. The clash has opened a rift at the heart of Opec. Here’s a look at what’s next for oil prices.

3. Can the G7 tax deal survive US gridlock? Joe Biden celebrated after 130 countries agreed last week to significant changes to the international tax system after new proposals from the US jolted talks that had appeared stuck. But the momentum threatens to be lost in Washington.

4. Manufacturers hunt for crucial parts When it comes to supply chain shortages, Scott Wine of CNH Industrial is less worried about chips than about tubes and tyres. The maker of tractors, trucks and construction equipment is struggling to source parts as the global economy revs back up.

5. UK railway reforms off-track Reforms of the UK’s railways risk being undermined by a lack of urgency and a convincing plan, according to a report from the parliamentary spending watchdog. The sector is on the cusp of its biggest shake-up since the 1990s, but there are concerns about the transport department’s “over-optimism”.

Coronavirus digest

  • Business and health chiefs warned that England faces workplace chaos, with 2m people a week at risk of contracting Covid-19 if restrictions are lifted as planned on July 19.

  • The Delta variant and a surge among unvaccinated younger people has catapulted Spain’s infection rate to the highest in mainland Europe.

  • The mayor of London defended the decision to allow Wembley Stadium to host more than 60,000 fans for the final stages of the Euro 2020 football tournament.

  • The death in custody from Covid-19 of an 84-year-old Jesuit priest who dedicated his life to India’s indigenous forest dwellers has infuriated activists, who said he was a victim of Narendra Modi’s crackdown on dissent.

  • The pandemic risks creating a permanent reduction for insuring businesses that rely on physical contact, a top EU regulator has warned.

Follow our live coronavirus blog and sign up for our Coronavirus Business Update newsletter for more Covid-19 news.

The day ahead

OECD employment outlook Annual employment figures released today will offer insight into the global economic recovery, with the biggest concern for developing countries, which have yet to feel the full impact of the coronavirus crisis. (OECD)

US employment US job openings have surged in recent months, hitting 9.3m in April — a level economists expect will be maintained in May. (FT, WSJ)

Economic data German industrial output numbers for May are due. The production index unexpectedly declined in April.

England vs Denmark England will attempt to reach its first big tournament final in 55 years today as it faces Denmark in the Euro 2020 semi-final — but win or lose, societal effects are likely to be felt. The victor will challenge Italy, which surmounted Spain on penalties.

Sweden’s new government The country’s parliament is expected to decide whether to renew Stefan Lofven’s mandate as prime minister after a vote of no confidence ousted him last month. (FT)

Keep up with the important business, economic and political stories in the coming days with the FT’s revamped Week Ahead newsletter. Subscribe here. And don’t miss our FT News Briefing audio show — a short daily rundown of the top global stories.

What else we’re reading

You’re not fired Almost half of US workers say they have lost a job for a bad reason or no reason at all. New York City is trying to change this precarious situation: starting this week, fast-food companies with at least 30 outlets nationwide must show “just cause”, defined as objective operational or conduct-related reasons, for shedding staff.

Johnson’s Brexit win a Pyrrhic victory Boris Johnson won the referendum on EU membership and has re-made his country. But has he done so for the better or the worse? Has he increased opportunities for British people, or diminished them? Has he made the UK more influential and prosperous, or less so? Martin Wolf’s answer to all these questions is: the latter.

Commandeering business class No one knows just how much business travel will be permanently lost to Zoom, tightened budgets and rising environmental awareness, writes Philip Georgiadis. But as the pandemic ripples through aviation and crushes corporate travel, well-heeled holidaymakers will occupy the premium seats.

Lex: Carbon prices

Post-pandemic travel In Greece, the tourists are back, if not quite so many as expected in the historic heart of Athens. The masks are mostly off, revealing contented, sun-dazzled faces — and maybe the slightest flicker of lingering unease. (NYT)

Manila’s dynastic shift Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III, the former Philippine president and son of democracy icons, died on June 24. His passing came amid shifts in the country’s dynasty-dominated political landscape: President Rodrigo Duterte’s clan is ascendant, and with his patronage, the family of ex-dictator Ferdinand Marcos — the nemesis of the Aquinos — has seen its fortunes revived. (Nikkei Asia)


How bittersweet to become a sudden star during lockdown. Phoebe Dynevor, who plays ingénue Daphne in the sexy Georgian TV series Bridgerton, became famous overnight during the most claustrophobic time in recent history. But the 26-year-old hasn’t been able to try on her fame in public; instead, like the rest of us, she has had to stay home.

Phoebe Dynevor
‘It is really surreal,’ Dynevor says. ‘I still feel like no one knows who I am, but then I’m recognised.’ © Thomas Lohr

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