Amazon is asking a federal judge to block the Defense Department from enlisting Microsoft for a contentious and lucrative cloud project, according to court filings unsealed this week in the latest development related to the $10 billion JEDI project.
Judge Patricia Campbell-Smith summarized Amazon’s position during a conference call with attorneys for Amazon, Microsoft, and the Department of Defense in late November. Based on the Campbell-Smith’s summary, Amazon is asking the court to block the Pentagon from moving forward with Microsoft and seeking a mandate that the government re-open the bidding process “to make a new best value determination.”
Amazon is protesting the Defense Department’s decision to award Microsoft with the Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure (JEDI) project in the United States Court of Federal Claims. DoD surprised many in November by awarding the $10 billion, 10-year contract to Microsoft. Amazon was long seen as the frontrunner for the project.
“The JEDI contract was ultimately awarded to Microsoft despite what plaintiff characterizes as its depth of experience, superior technology and proven record of success in handling the most sensitive government data,” Campbell-Smith said during the call.
She added: “According to plaintiff, DoD’s failure to fairly credit [Amazon’s] technical superiority was not merely the result of arbitrary and capricious decision-making, but rather Plaintiff contends that the procurement process was compromised and negatively affected by the bias expressed publicly by the President and Commander in Chief Donald Trump against Plaintiff.”
Amazon’s complaint is under seal but related court filings provide glimpses into the company’s legal strategy. Amazon added videos of Fox News segments and comments from President Trump to the record to support its claim that the bidding process was improperly influenced by political pressure.
Amazon doubled down on that position during the conference call released this week, according to Campbell-Smith. She said Amazon believes “that the procurement process was compromised and negatively affected by the bias expressed publicly by the president and commander in chief Donald Trump.”
Amazon Web Services CEO Andy Jassy addressed the JEDI protest this week during AWS re:Invent, the company’s annual cloud conference in Las Vegas.
“We feel pretty strongly that it was not adjudicated fairly,” he said. “I think if you do the truly objective and detailed apples-to-apples comparison of the platforms, you don’t end up in the spot where that decision was made.”