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Amazon wants to suspend Microsoft from the DoD JEDI project until the case is resolved. The company has filed a new motion in court.
In an interesting turn of events, Amazon is seeking a court injunction against Microsoft. Amazon wants the courts to prevent Microsoft from continuing with the popular Pentagon cloud project until all related cases are resolved.
Amazon Looks to Stop Microsoft
In October last year, the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) announced that it will be awarding Microsoft with the Pentagon contract. Called the Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure (JEDI), the project is worth $10 billion. At the time, the battle was between Microsoft and Amazon and after the DoD’s announcement, Amazon registered its displeasure.
According to an AWS spokesperson at the time:
“We’re surprised about this conclusion. AWS is the clear leader in cloud computing, and a detailed assessment purely on the comparative offerings clearly leads to a different conclusion.”
By November, Amazon Web Services (AWS) filed with the U.S. Court of Federal Claims, claiming irregularities with the selection process. Now, Amazon has filed again, asking the court to temporarily discontinue Microsoft’s progress with the project. According to an AWS statement, asking for a suspension is not abnormal and should be granted if there is an ongoing case.
“It is common practice to stay contract performance while a protest is pending and it’s important that the numerous evaluation errors and blatant political interference that impacted the JEDI award decision be reviewed.”
Amazon Alleges Political Interference
Since last year, Amazon has suggested that it did not get the contract because of political interference. There were rumors that the project was to go to Microsoft but U.S. President Donald Trump intervened and requested a reexamination of the case. The Defense Secretary Mark T. Esper supposedly had to acquiesce. Trump and Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos have been at loggerheads for a while now.
Speaking to CNBC’s Jon Fortt, head of AWS Andy Jassy said that the contract was not issued fairly. Explaining his point, Jassy suggests that a contract like this cannot be objectively carried out when everyone is publicly aware that Trump has a grudge.
“When you have a sitting president who’s willing to be very vocal that they dislike a company and the CEO of that company, it makes it difficult for government agencies, including the DoD to make objective decisions without fear of reprisal. And I think that’s dangerous and risky for your country.”
Jeff Bezos and Donald Trump
Apart from his position as Amazon chief, Jeff Bezos also owns major American daily newspaper, the Washington Post. The newspaper is popular because of its constant criticism of the Trump administration. Trump has in turn also criticized the newspaper company for publishing fake stories.
Whoever eventually gets the JEDI project will be faced with a herculean task. They will have to secure the DoD on the cloud and improve its technology.