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March 19, 2015

DISA pulls out of £1bn VMware deal

Protests from Amazon, Citrix, Nutanix and Minburn behind the decision.

By Joao Lima

The American Defence Information Security Agency (DISA) has pulled out of a deal with VMware worth £1.08bn due to protests from competitors.

The DISA has not yet commented on the reason for pulling out of the five-year deal. The joint enterprise licensing agreement was cancelled on the 12th March without further justifications.

A statement from the Government Accountability Office (GAO) refers to the dismissal of protests against the VMware deal made by Amazon Web Services (AWS), Citrix Systems, Nutanix and Minburn Technology Group.

The venture was controversial from the beginning, as it allegedly hadn’t given a fair opportunity to competitors and excluded them from bidding.

This followed the DISA publication "A Justification For Other Than Full And Equal Open Competition", where the agencyjustified its right to ignore free market principles, as VMware would help the US Military to save money.

Hours before, GAO said that the claims made by AWS, Citrix, Nutanix and Minburn Technology Group were dismissed.

GAO has written on its website that "if a protest is dismissed, we will not make the decision publicly available, unless it addresses a significant issue", not giving any further comments.

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VMware is still to make a statement on the case.

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