Amazon uses legal force to block Microsoft's JEDI job

Yolanda Curtis
January 15, 2020

Stunned at losing the prestigious $10 billion Pentagon Cloud project, Amazon has sought "preliminary injunction" from the court to temporarily block Microsoft from starting work on the project.

Amazon plans to file a motion on January 24, 2020 for a temporary restraining order.

According to Brad Smith, Microsoft's President and chief legal officer, "we have if anything been moving even faster since that contract was awarded".

Potentially worth up to US$10 billion over 10 years, the contract is part of the DoD's digital modernisation strategy for the military, and its award to Microsoft was seen as a giant upset for AWS, which was viewed as the frontrunner.

Amazon has been sparring with the Trump administration over the contract, with the online retailer alleging that the White House exerted "improper pressure" and bias that led to the U.S. Department of Defense awarding the Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure Cloud (JEDI) contract to Microsoft.

AWS could not immediately be reached for comment today.

President Trump has publicly crossed swords with Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos, who also owns the Washington Post. The Department of Defense claims the decision was made without bias.

Meanwhile, undeterred by Amazon's lawsuit, Microsoft is going the whole hog on recruiting people for the project it won despite AWS being the favourite. "The department remains confident in the JEDI award".

First it was a protest, then an official appeal, and now a request for a temporary restraining order.

It is expected that Amazon's motion will be challenged on the grounds that it should have been filed earlier.

Microsoft is being silent on the matter, deciding not to comment on Amazon's actions, although it has previously said it believed the DoD did a good job.

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