com Inc.’s bid to win back the Pentagon’s JEDI cloud computing contract stayed alive Wednesday as a federal judge rejected motions by the Defense Department and
to dismiss much of Amazon’s challenge of the contract award.
Judge Patricia Campbell-Smith of the U.S. Court of Federal Claims rejected the motions, according to a court docket entry. Her opinion and order in the case weren’t made public immediately, making the extent of the government’s legal defeat unclear.
The move is significant nonetheless because it opens the door to continued protracted court battles over the Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure, or JEDI, contract.
Some Pentagon officials have suggested in recent months that the Defense Department might have to consider other approaches to obtaining enterprise-level cloud services, rather than pursuing further years of litigation over the long-delayed JEDI contract.
The Pentagon didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.
Amazon has sought to blame its loss in part on improper political interference in the deal under President
In a statement Wednesday, Amazon’s cloud division, Amazon Web Services, said that it was pleased with the court ruling.
“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,” the company said.
Microsoft communications executive Frank Shaw dismissed the decision as a procedural ruling.
“Not once, but twice, professional procurement staff at the DoD chose Microsoft after a thorough review,“ he said. ”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.”
Amazon unexpectedly lost its bid for JEDI in 2019 and filed a bid protest alleging that the Pentagon improperly decided the award and considered improper factors, including political influence. Amazon was originally regarded as the favorite to win the JEDI contract, which is estimated to be worth as much as $10 billion over a decade.
Amazon contended in its bid protest that the Pentagon unfairly evaluated the two tech companies’ proposals and that the process was influenced by Mr. Trump’s public criticisms of the JEDI project, Amazon itself and its founder,
Mr. Trump criticized Mr. Bezos for the coverage of his administration in the Washington Post, which Mr. Bezos bought in 2013. The Post says its editorial decisions are independent.
Judge Campbell-Smith in 2020 stayed the case while the Pentagon weighed changes to the project that could address some of Amazon’s objections.
The Pentagon ultimately upheld Microsoft as the winner. Amazon contended that the Pentagon’s reconsideration should have been much broader, saying it amounted to a “do-over.”
Write to John D. McKinnon at [email protected]
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