- The U.S. Federal Claims Court temporarily halted Microsoft's work on the $10 billion Department of Defense cloud contract on Thursday. Judge Patricia Campbell-Smith's opinion remains under seal.
- The court ordered the preliminary injunction on the Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure (JEDI) contract following a motion filed by Amazon Web Services in January. The request, made public this week, called Microsoft's award "arbitrary, capricious, and prejudicial."
- The court asked for $42 million from AWS to cover "costs and damages" in case the injunction was wrongfully issued.
AWS, Microsoft and the federal government have engaged in a behind-the-scenes legal battle since the lucrative cloud contract was awarded in October. AWS filed a protest in December saying the Defense Department's evaluation process gave a "false sense of parity" between the two cloud providers.
The ensuing legal battle was expected; there is much at stake with a contract this size. Because it is a 10-year award, AWS says the contract award offers a "competitive advantage" for bidding in future federal government cloud contracts.
Of course, there's also the revenue and profits a contract this size has to offer.
AWS's loss is Microsoft's gain. In a market where AWS is clearly the dominant provider, the JEDI contract offers an edge and the potential for Microsoft to expand its 15% share of the cloud market.
Microsoft is "disappointed with the additional delay" but is confident it will "ultimately be able to move forward with the work," Frank Shaw, Corporate Vice President, Microsoft Communications, told CIO Dive in a statement. The company called the contract award process "thorough and fair."
In court documents, AWS said President Donald Trump improperly pressured the award in his effort to "screw Amazon."
As part of its protest, AWS wants to depose Trump; James Mattis, the former Secretary of Defense; Mark Esper, the current Secretary of Defense; and DOD CIO Dana Deasy among others.
Correction: This article has been updated to correct the spelling of DOD CIO Dana Deasy's name.