Amazon seeks to block Microsoft from working on JEDI contract as legal battle continues

The Pentagon. (Flickr Photo / David B. Gleason cc2.0)

Amazon’s legal quest to overturn the decision to award the coveted JEDI cloud contract to rival Microsoft could be a long, drawn-out process. While the court battle plays out, Amazon wants to stop Microsoft from doing any significant work on the $10 billion project to build out the U.S. Department of Defense’s cloud infrastructure.

Amazon will file for a preliminary injunction to bar Microsoft from completing any substantive JEDI tasks, according to a new court document published Monday. Amazon’s request will be submitted by Jan. 24, according to court documents, the same day Microsoft and the U.S. government are scheduled to file their first arguments against Amazon’s claims.

A ruling on the injunction request is expected around Feb. 11, when Microsoft is scheduled to begin work on the JEDI project.

DoD surprised many in November by awarding the 10-year JEDI contract to Microsoft, as Amazon was long seen as the front-runner for the project. The Pentagon was expected to announce a winner over the summer, but the timeline was delayed after President Donald Trump expressed concerns about the fairness of the process.

Less than two weeks after Microsoft won the contract, Amazon filed its lawsuit. Amazon is asking the court to order the Defense Department to reevaluate the bids. The company said that the respective technical merits of the two contenders “require overturning the award of the JEDI Contract to Microsoft.”

In court documents, Amazon accused Trump of influencing DoD as it made its decision. Amazon claims the award of the JEDI project is “impossible to assess separate and apart from the President’s repeatedly expressed determination to, in the words of the President himself, ‘screw Amazon.’ ”

Meanwhile, Microsoft is reportedly gearing up the JEDI hiring process and working on security clearances for its engineers.

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