Saab wins Brazil jet deal after NSA spying sours Boeing bid

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.

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