Brazil awarded a $4.5 billion contract to Saab AB on Wednesday to replace its aging fleet of fighter jets, a surprise coup for the Swedish company after news of U.S. spying on Brazilians helped derail Boeing’s chances for the deal.
“The NSA problem ruined it for the Americans,” a Brazilian government source said on condition of anonymity.
A U.S. source close to the negotiations said that whatever intelligence the spying had delivered for the American government was unlikely to outweigh the commercial cost of the revelations.
“Was that worth 4 billion dollars?” the source asked.
The lament echo’s recent complaints by Cisco Systems Inc , which said in November that a backlash against U.S. government spying contributed to lower demand for its products in China.