Published: Fri, February 14, 2020
Economy | By

Amazon Wins Suit Suspending $10bn Microsoft US Military Contract

Amazon Wins Suit Suspending $10bn Microsoft US Military Contract

Microsoft told The Register it remains confident the JEDI - aka the Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure - cloud contract will go forward with Redmond at the helm.

A judge has hit pause on a major United States government contract in a win for Amazon, which had challenged the award. Trump frequently criticizes Amazon and Jeff Bezos, its founder; Bezos owns the Washington Post, which Trump says covers him unfairly.

A United States federal court today slammed the brakes on the Pentagon's decision to award Microsoft the JEDI cloud mega-contract.

"We have confidence in the Department of Defense, and we believe the facts will show they ran a detailed, thorough and fair process in determining the needs of the warfighter were best met by Microsoft". In seeking the injunction the firm had said it was "important that the numerous evaluation errors and blatant political interference that impacted the Jedi award decision be reviewed". Amazon was initially favored to win the contract, which defense officials say will advance the USA military's technological advantage. But he said the Pentagon remained sure of its decision to choose Microsoft.

The government also asked the court to reject Amazon's request to temporarily block work on the contract, arguing that such a pause would compromise national security and drain taxpayer money. The contract is meant to give the military better access to data and technology from remote locations. Among the leaders Amazon seeks to depose are Trump, former Defense Secretary James Mattis, Defense Secretary Mark Esper and Dana Deasy, the Pentagon's chief information officer.

The Pentagon's JEDI project is created to consolidate the department's cloud computing infrastructure and modernize its technology systems. In July, Trump publicly stated that other companies told him the contract "wasn't competitively bid", and he said the administration would "take a very long look" at it. Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos has always been a target of Trump; the president calls the Bezos-owned Washington Post "fake news" whenever it publishes unfavorable stories about him.

The Defense Department has denied claims of bias. That included the president's role in a border wall contract, his push to block AT&T's acquisition of CNN parent company Time Warner and his impeachment by the House of Representatives over his dealings with Ukraine.

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