Stunned at losing the prestigious $10 billion Pentagon Cloud project, Amazon has sought ‘preliminary injunction’ from the court to temporarily block Microsoft from starting work on the project.
According to a CNN Business report citing a court filing on Tuesday, retail giant’s Cloud arm will seek a preliminary injunction to “prevent the issuance of substantive task orders under the contract”. Amazon’s request will be submitted by Jan. 24. Microsoft is set to start its work on the Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure (JEDI) Cloud contract from February 11.
“DoD’s substantial and pervasive errors are hard to understand and impossible to assess separate and apart from the President’s repeatedly expressed determination to, in the words of the President himself, ‘screw Amazon.’ Basic justice requires re-evaluation of proposal and a new award decision,” read the court filing. Amazon last year filed a suit with the US Court of Federal Claims contesting the decision.
Meanwhile, undeterred by Amazon’s lawsuit, Microsoft is going the whole hog on recruiting people for the project it won despite AWS being the favourite. According to Brad Smith, Microsoft’s President and chief legal officer, “we have if anything been moving even faster since that contract was awarded”.
Amazon alleged in its complaint — filed against the US government’s decision to award JEDI contract to the “less competitive” Microsoft — that Trump abused his position to put “improper pressure” on decision-makers for personal gains and show his hatred towards Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos who owns The Washington Post.
In the formal protest unsealed at the US Court of Federal Claims, Amazon said the US President “launched repeated public and behind-the-scenes attacks” against the company in an effort to undermine its bid and hurt its founder and CEO Bezos, “his perceived political enemy”.
Microsoft, however, never responded directly to the AWS complaint. The Department of Defense (DoD), however, said that the procurement process was conducted by seasoned procurement experts.
“The department is confident in the JEDI award and remains focused on getting this critical capability into the hands of our warfighters as quickly and efficiently as possible,” DoD said in a statement. (IANS)