Judge temporarily halts $10 billion Microsoft cloud contract with Pentagon

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The motion was granted as part of a suit Amazon brought protesting the Defense Department’s selection process for the contract.

What you need to know

  • A judge ordered a temporay halt on Microsoft’s work on a $10 billion contract with the U.S. Department of Defense.
  • Amazon filed a motion asking the court for the order in January.
  • Amazon is pursuing a lawsuit alleging bias in the government’s selection process for the contract.

A federal judge granted a motion from Amazon to halt Microsoft’s work on a $10 billion contract cloud contract with the Department of Defense. Amazon originally filed the motion in January as part of a suit alleging bias in the selection process for the contract. Amazon was among the companies competing to win the contract.

The Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure (JEDI) contract was awarded to Microsoft last October. Amazon later alleged bias on the part of President Donald Trump against Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos resulted in an unfair process. The Department of Defense claims that the selection was made without bias, with Defense Secretary Mark Esper stating the decision was made freely and fairly.

Amazon has asked for the Department of Defense to halt the contract with Microsoft and re-review submitted proposals. “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 U.S. taxpayers,” Amazon spokesperson Jay Carney told CNBC.

The JEDI contract provides cloud services, artificial intelligence processing, and machine learning technology. Amazon Web Services, Oracle, and IBM also competed for the contract.