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In win for Amazon, judge freezes work on Pentagon contract

SeattlePI.com Thursday, 13 February 2020 ()
NEW YORK (AP) — A federal court has ordered a temporary halt in Microsoft's work on a $10 billion military cloud contract that Amazon was initially expected to win. Amazon sued in November to revisit that decision, alleging that President Donald Trump's bias against the company hurt its chances to win the project.

Amazon requested the court injunction last month. Both the documents requesting the block and the judge's decision to issue the temporary injunction are sealed by the court.

A public court notice, however, confirmed the injunction on the Pentagon and noted that Amazon will have to establish a security fund of $42 million that will be used to pay damages if the court later finds the injunction was improper. No further details of the decision were immediately available.

Microsoft said in a statement Thursday that it was disappointed by the additional delay, but said it believes that it will ultimately be allowed to move forward with the project.

The Pentagon and Amazon did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Charles Tiefer, a government contracting law professor at the University of Baltimore, called the order to stop work on the project “striking," adding that judges typically halt work on contracts when they see “some merit” in the case.

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

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

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News video: Microsoft's Pentagon Cloud Contract Is Halted by Court Due to Amazon Protests

Microsoft's Pentagon Cloud Contract Is Halted by Court Due to Amazon Protests 01:09

Microsoft's Pentagon Cloud Contract Is Halted by Court Due to Amazon Protests The Pentagon awarded Microsoft the 10 year, $10 billion contract, known as the Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure (JEDI). Amazon was also in contention for the contract. The U.S. military intends to use JEDI as a...

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