Amazon uses legal force to block Microsoft's JEDI job

Could postpone work on the US$10 billion contract
  • Reuters (ARN)
  • 15 January, 2020 09:14
Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella (L) and Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos (R)

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella (L) and Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos (R) will ask a judge to temporarily block Microsoft from working on a US$10 billion cloud contract from the Pentagon, a court filing has revealed.

Amazon, which was seen as a favorite for the contract, plans to file a motion for a temporary restraining order on Jan. 24 and a federal court will issue its decision on Feb. 11, according to the filing.

The e-commerce giant has blamed US President Donald Trump of exerting "improper pressure" and bias that led the US Department of Defense (DoD) to award the Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure Cloud (JEDI) contract to Microsoft.

The Department of Defense has stood by its decision, with its Secretary Mark Esper rejecting any suggestion of bias and saying the decision was conducted freely and fairly, without any outside influence.

The JEDI contract is part of a broader digital modernization of the Pentagon meant to make it more technologically agile. Specifically, a goal of JEDI is to give the military better access to data and the cloud from battlefields and other remote locations.

Microsoft did not have a comment on Amazon's intent to file the motion. Amazon did not respond to a request for comment and the DoD could not be immediately reached.

(Reporting by Rama Venkat in Bengaluru; Editing by Anil D'Silva)