The U.S. judge says Amazon will likely succeed in the challenge of the Defense cloud contract

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A U.S. judge has declared Amazon.com Inc (AMZN.O) will likely challenge the U.S. Department of Defense decision to award a cloud computing deal of up to $ 10 billion to Microsoft Corp (MSFT.O)

The Amazon logo is visible at the corporate logistics center in Boves, France, November 5, 2019. REUTERS / Pascal Rossignol / Files

US Federal Court Judge Patricia Campbell-Smith’s opinion was overturned on Friday. On February 13, he issued an order to freeze work on the contract pending resolution of Amazon’s court case.

Amazon claims that the contract was awarded to its rival due to the undue influence of President Donald Trump.

The opinion did not mention Trump or address Amazon’s claims of improper influence, but instead focused on how the Pentagon assessed Microsoft’s data storage in a pricing scenario.

Campbell-Smith wrote that Amazon “is likely to succeed based on its argument that the DOD incorrectly assessed” a Microsoft pricing scenario. He added that Amazon will likely show that Microsoft’s scenario was not “technically feasible”, as assessed by the Pentagon.

Microsoft did not immediately comment on Saturday, but told the Washington Post that the opinion cited a “solitary technical discovery” and noted that it found no other government error in the “complex and complete process that led to the award of the contract with Microsoft. ”

Amazon did not immediately comment on Saturday.

Campbell-Smith said that “in the context of a contract for cloud computing services, the court finds it quite probable that this failure will be substantial.”

Amazon, who had been seen as a front-runner to win the contract, filed a lawsuit in November, a few weeks after the contract was awarded to Microsoft. Trump publicly mocked Amazon boss Jeff Bezos and repeatedly criticized the company.

The Amazon lawsuit claimed that the Department of Defense decision was full of “glaring errors”, which were the result of “improper pressure from President Donald Trump”.

Bezos also owns the Washington Post, whose coverage has been critical of Trump and which has often been the target of trumpeting by the media.

The Pentagon, which had planned to begin work on the contract on February 13, said it was disappointed with the ruling.

As part of the case, Amazon asked the court to stop the execution of the contract, popularly known as the Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure Cloud or JEDI. The contract aims to offer the military better access to data and technology from remote locations.

Last month, Amazon’s cloud computing unit, Amazon Web Services, said it was trying to sue Trump in its lawsuit and suggested that the president was trying to “ruin Amazon” on the contract.

Reporting by David Shepardson to Washington; Editing by Ben Klayman and Matthew Lewis

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