Defense Department’s JEDI contract with Microsoft halted after Amazon complains

Bank review, current USBR score and consumer report

A judge has ordered a temporary halt to a major Defense Department contract awarded to Microsoft after rival Amazon complained about the bidding process.

In a sealed legal document filed Thursday with the U.S. Court of Federal Claims, Judge Patricia Campbell-Smith said the Defense Department’s Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure (JEDI) contract is blocked “until further order of the court.” The decision comes just days after Amazon Web Services, the retail giant’s cloud computing arm, revealed in legal documents unsealed this week that it was seeking to depose President Donald Trump and Pentagon officials to obtain more information about the JEDI cloud bidding process. 

Amazon has alleged that President Trump’s public hostility toward the company and its CEO, Jeff Bezos, improperly influenced the Pentagon’s decision in October to award the coveted cloud contract, worth up to $10 billion over 10 years, to Microsoft. 

It’s unclear why Judge Campbell-Smith has blocked the JEDI contract from moving forward. One of the few details revealed in a public summary of the otherwise sealed filing was that Amazon must pay $42 million in “the event that future proceedings prove that this injunction was issued wrongfully.”

Microsoft spokesperson Frank Shaw said in a statement: “While we are disappointed with the additional delay we believe that we will ultimately be able to move forward with the work to make sure those who serve our country can access the new technology they urgently require. 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.” 

There was no immediate word from the judge about any future hearings about her temporary order. But she did ask both parties to file additional paperwork.

“We are disappointed in today’s ruling and believe 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,” Defense Department spokesperson Lt Col Robert Carver said in a statement. “However, we are confident in our award of the JEDI Cloud contract to Microsoft and remain focused on getting this critical capability into the hands of our warfighters as quickly and efficiently as possible.”

In its legal filing unsealed earlier this week, Amazon had accused President Trump of influencing the choice of the winner for the contract. The company said that Trump, who has spared with Bezos over reporting by his newspaper, the Washington Post, was biased against Amazon and had used his power to taint the selection process against it.

“The question is whether the President of the United States should be allowed to use the budget of the DoD to pursue his own personal and political ends,” Amazon said in a statement.

More must-read stories from Fortune:

Airbnb’s bottom line is hurting. New safety efforts could make matters worse
—How businesses lost an extra $500 million from email scams last year
—Antivirus software Avast investigated for selling user browsing histories
Huawei poses a 5G spying risk, but other options are hard to come by
—Predicting the biggest tech headlines of 2020

Catch up with Data Sheet, Fortune’s daily digest on the business of tech.

11 Things You Should Know Before You Get Your First Credit Card

A credit card may seem like just another tool to help you make purchases, but it can be much more. When used responsibly, a credit card can help you build

What Is a Balance Transfer, and Should I Consider Doing One?

In a perfect world, no one would carry a balance on their credit card. We would all pay our bills in full each month and never have to worry about

How Is Credit Card Interest Calculated?

So your bank tells you that your credit card has a 15% APR. What does that actually mean? How does your bank calculate your interest rate, and how does that translate into how much you actually pay? …

What Is a Balance Transfer, and Should I Consider Doing One?

In a perfect world, no one would carry a balance on their credit card. We would all pay our bills in full each month and never have to worry about

Subscribe to our e-mail list and stay up-to-date with all our news.

The US Bank Review is an independent authority and bank watchdog group monitoring financial institutions operating the in United States. We have no affiliation with any banks featured, reviewed or profiled. All rights reserved. Terms of use and Privacy Policy