Amazon Wins Suit Suspending $10bn Microsoft US Military Contract

Daniel Fowler
February 14, 2020

Amazon has been in court since late 2019, after the DoD chose to award Microsoft the $10 billion JEDI deal claiming that, due in part to President Trump's late-stage interference with the bidding process, AWS lost out becoming the preferred partner of the Pentagon.

A temporary injunction requested by Amazon was issued by U.S. judge Patricia Campbell-Smith, barring the Department of Defense from starting work on the contract known as JEDI, according to a summary of the ruling available online.

Earlier this week, Amazon's cloud computing unit, Amazon Web Services, said it was seeking to depose Trump and Esper in its lawsuit over whether the president was trying "to screw Amazon" over the contract.

The project, known as Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure, or JEDI, will store and process vast amounts of classified data.

Mr Trump has repeatedly attacked the Washington Post newspaper, which Mr Bezos owns, as well as accusing Amazon of harming the U.S. postal service.

Lieutenant Colonel Robert Carver, a Defense Department spokesman, said the Pentagon believed "the actions taken in this litigation have unnecessarily delayed implementing DoD's modernization strategy and deprived our warfighters of a set of capabilities they urgently need".

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He added that the Pentagon remained confident in its decision to award the contract to Microsoft.

The protest filed in the US Court of Federal Claims urges that the rival JEDI bids be re-evaluated.

As part of the lawsuit, Amazon wants to question Trump about his communications with its competitors and with Pentagon officials to establish his "well-documented personal animus towards Mr. Bezos, Amazon, and the Washington Post", according to a court filing.

In the meantime, Microsoft's chief legal officer Brad Smith has also chimed in with a few behind-the-curtain details of how the company is staffing up and prepared to handle the scale of the JEDI contract with the Department of Defense. After the victor was narrowed down to Amazon and Microsoft a year ago, President Trump said he was looking into the bidding process in response to complaints by IBM and other companies.

Amazon will have to put up a $42m deposit "for the payment of such costs and damages as may be incurred or suffered in the event that future proceedings prove that this injunction was issued wrongfully", but that's nothing to the trillion-dollar behemoth.

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