Amazon Strikes Back: Judge Blocks Microsoft’s JEDI Contract

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A federal judge issued a temporary injunction against Microsoft that will prevent the company from beginning work on the recently won $10 billion Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure (JEDI) contract to modernize Pentagon’s IT infrastructure. The judge’s injunction came after Amazon filed a motion against Microsoft last month.

JEDI Fight is Not Over Yet

The JEDI contract was supposed to go to a single company back in August, 2019. However, weeks before that deadline, Secretary of Defense Mark Esper started investigating the contract bidding process for potential conflicts of interest. Eventually, the awarding of the contract was delayed until October 25, when the DoD awarded it to Microsoft

Before Secretary Esper started his investigation, many believed that Amazon would be the one to win the contract. When it lost, Amazon wasn’t too happy with the decision, so it launched a lawsuit against the DoD on November 22.

Last month, Amazon asked the court to block Microsoft from starting work on the JEDI contract, which was supposed to happen on February 14, this year. Amazon also asked the court to depose President Trump, Secretary Esper, and former Secretary Mattis, because it believes that it lost the contract due to President Trump’s influence on the awarding process. 

The President said in July last year that it would look into the contract after IBM, Microsoft, and Oracle complained about the bidding process. Amazon believes that President Trump shows bias against the company because the Washington Post, a paper owned by Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, has criticized the President’s administration. 

Microsoft issued a statement to the CNBC about the recent development:

“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.” 

Since it was awarded the JEDI contract, Microsoft has launched an aggressive staffing operation by recruiting employees from other defense contractors over the past few months.

Lucian Armasu
Lucian Armasu is a Contributing Writer for Tom's Hardware US. He covers software news and the issues surrounding privacy and security.
  • BeardRobot
    In the business world, if you talk trash about a company, you basically forfeit your right to get contracts from them. Why should this situation be any different? Bazos forfeited his right to do work for the Trump administration as soon as he opened his mouth in criticism. If I talked trash about a company, submitted a bid to do work for said company, and get rejected, I'm not going to call my lawyer. Just because you're rich and powerful doesn't mean that you won't reap what you sow.
  • King_V
    What you describe is in violation of the law with regard to the bidding process for government projects. It's one thing for a private company to make a bad decision out of spite. Trump has done plenty of stupid stuff in private business (and wound up with multiple bankruptcies) because of his ego and narcissism.

    This is PUBLIC money. The taxpayer's money.

    Don't make excuses for Trump's delicate ego. If he interfered with use of public funds, government bidding, because of a petty personal vendetta, then he broke the law.

    If you WANT a country where the leader is a king or dictator, and appeasing and flattering him is the path to success, there are plenty of countries out there like that. They're run by some of Trump's bestest buddies.
  • olin9
    Trump breaking the law? whats new, I bet he breaks the law daily. Thats what kings do. He is above the law. As stated by his chief of staff " we do it all the time. get over it"
  • margrave
    What does this have to do with the President?

    First ... Amazon merely "claims" interference. Correction: someone claims that Amazon claims interference.

    Second ... lawsuits are built around claims. In the end some claims are upheld and others rejected.

    But for now ... the claims mean nothing. They're just claims. And they might not even be part of the suit.

    So don't be jumping to conclusions.
  • USAFRet
    There are only a very few entities that are capable of doing this job.
    Amazon, Microsoft, Google.

    Whichever of the 3 that won, the other 2 would bitch about it. As is happening here.
  • drivinfast247
    Calm down, ladies! Don't let your TDS steer you off the subject.