Judge Dismisses Amazon’s JEDI Challenge After Project Cancelled

Amazon’s legal challenge to the US Defence Department’s 2019 decision to award its $10 billion (£7.2bn) JEDI cloud-computing  contract to Microsoft has been dismissed after the Pentagon cancelled the contract.

Amazon had accused then-President Donald Trump of exerting improper pressure on military authorities to ensure Amazon’s bid wasn’t successful.

The Pentagon said last week it is planning a new multi-billion dollar contract that it expects to be split between Amazon and Microsoft.

Judge Patricia E. Campbell-Smith of the US Court of Federal Claims agreed to dismiss Amazon’s case at the request of the US government.

New cloud plan

She said the case was now moot due to the project’s cancellation. Amazon did not object to the move.

Amazon had sought to question Trump in court about his role in the JEDI contract decision.

During his term in office Trump publicly derided then-Amazon chief excutive Jeff Bezos and criticized Amazon.

The Defence Department said it hopes to have the first awards for its new Joint Warfighter Cloud Capability (JWCC) by April 2022.

Defence Department acting chief information officer John Sherman said last Tuesday he expects both Amazon and Microsoft to receive contracts under JWCC.

‘Outside influence’

Microsoft said in a statement it is confident it will “continue to be successful” under future DoD procurement.

Amazon Web Services said it agreed with the Pentagon’s decision to cancel the contract as the initial award was “not based on the merits of the proposals and instead was the result of outside influence that has no place in government procurement”.

In April Campbell-Smith refused to dismiss Amazon’s claims alleging interference by the Trump administration.

She had placed the contract on hold indefinitely in February 2020.

The Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure Cloud (JEDI) contract had a budget of up to $10bn as part of a broader Pentagon digital modernisation scheme.

Matthew Broersma

Matt Broersma is a long standing tech freelance, who has worked for Ziff-Davis, ZDnet and other leading publications

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