Published: Fri, February 14, 2020
Markets | By Otis Pena

Amazon wins order suspending $10 bn Microsoft US military contract

Amazon wins order suspending $10 bn Microsoft US military contract

A federal judge on Thursday ordered the Pentagon to temporarily halt a $10 billion cloud-computing contract with Microsoft after Amazon claimed President Trump caused it to lose out on the lucrative deal. Amazon lated alleged bias on the part of President Donald Trump against Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos resulted in an unfair process.

The project, known as Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure, or JEDI, will store and process vast amounts of classified data, allowing the USA military to improve communications with soldiers on the battlefield and use artificial intelligence to speed up its war planning and fighting capabilities. It's meant to improve the Pentagon's communications with soldiers on the battlefield and would use artificial intelligence to speed up its war planning and fighting capabilities.

Amazon was considered an early front-runner for the contract, which Pentagon officials have said is important to advancing the USA military's technological advantage over adversaries.

Pentagon spokesman Robert Carver said in a statement that the ruling unnecessarily delays implementation of the cloud contract and deprives "warfighters of a set of capabilities they urgently need". But he said the Pentagon remained sure of its decision to choose Microsoft. "All we're trying to do through this protest and this request for a legal review is to ensure that a proper decision was made on behalf of USA taxpayers", Amazon spokesperson Jay Carney told CNBC.

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In July, Trump publicly stated that the contract "wasn't competitively bid", and he said the administration would "take a very long look" at it. In seeking the injunction the firm had said it was "important that the numerous evaluation errors and blatant political interference that impacted the Jedi award decision be reviewed". According to a report from CNBC News, Smith has gone on record to explain that the company is "moving faster", as it attempts to siphon talent from defense contracting position as well as canvassing the internet with job postings for specialists.

Microsoft opposed Amazon's request for depositions in a court filing this week, arguing that Amazon "is grasping at straws to find support for its baseless allegations". Starting today, February 13, 2020, Amazon is using an injunction granted by a judge to halt any work between Microsoft and the DoD on the JEDI agreement.

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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