What you need to know
- Amazon alleges that the Trump administration interfered with the Pentagon's awarding of the JEDI contract.
- Microsoft and the U.S. Justice Department requested said allegations be dismissed.
- A U.S. judge just denied those requests.
Update April 29, 2021 at 2:32 pm ET: Microsoft has provided a statement that has been included below.
A U.S. judge has denied requests by Microsoft and the U.S. Justice Department to dismiss Amazon allegations regarding the awarding of the Pentagon's $10 billion JEDI contract (via Reuters). Amazon claims that the Trump administration meddled in the assignment of the cloud-computing contract given to Microsoft.
Since then, both Microsoft and the U.S. Justice Department have asked for said allegations to be dismissed. Now, however, those dismissal requests have been rejected, paving the way for the continuation of an already lengthy legal battle.
Today, the US Court of Federal Claims issued a sealed decision denying the motions filed by the DoJ and Microsoft requesting the Court dismiss AWS's allegations that the Trump Administration interfered in the JEDI award. Below, please find a statement attributable to an AWS spokesperson.
An Amazon Web Services spokesperson gave the following statement in response to the judge's decision:
The record of improper influence by former President Trump is disturbing, and we are pleased the Court will review the remarkable impact it had on the JEDI contract award. AWS continues to be the superior technical choice, the less expensive choice, and would provide the best value to the DoD and the American taxpayer. We continue to look forward to the Court's review of the many material flaws in the DoD's evaluation, and we remain absolutely committed to ensuring that the Department has access to the best technology at the best price.
Microsoft Communications CVP Frank X. Shaw gave the following statement after the news broke:
This procedural ruling changes little. Not once, but twice, professional procurement staff at the DoD chose Microsoft after a thorough review. Many other large and sophisticated customers make the same choice every week. We've continued for more than a year to do the internal work necessary to move forward on JEDI quickly, and we continue to work with DoD, as we have for more than 40 years, on mission critical initiatives like supporting its rapid shift to remote work and the Army's IVAS.
JEDI isn't the only contract Microsoft has with the U.S. government and its military branches, but even so, it's a $10 billion deal. We will provide updates as the story develops.