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The Pentagon Andy Dunaway/USAF via Getty Images
Aerial photo of the Pentagon in Arlington, Virginia, in September 2003

Amazon Asks Court to Pause Microsoft Work on $10 Billion Pentagon Cloud Deal

Amazon.com Inc. asked a court to temporarily block Microsoft Corp. from working on a $10 billion Pentagon cloud contract until a lawsuit challenging its validity is resolved.

(Bloomberg) -- Amazon.com Inc. asked a court to temporarily block Microsoft Corp. from working on a $10 billion Pentagon cloud contract until a lawsuit challenging its validity is resolved.

The company’s cloud unit, Amazon Web Services, said in a statement Wednesday night that it was “common practice” to stay contract performance while a protest was pending, adding that it’s “important that the numerous evaluation errors and blatant political interference that impacted the JEDI award decision be reviewed.”

Amazon filed a lawsuit in November in the U.S. Court of Federal Claims alleging that the Defense Department failed to fairly judge its bid for the Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure, or JEDI, contract because President Donald Trump viewed Amazon Chief Executive Officer Jeff Bezos as his “political enemy.”

The president has long criticized Bezos over everything from the shipping rates his company pays the U.S. Postal Service to his personal ownership of what Trump calls “the Amazon Washington Post.”

In October, the Defense Department awarded Microsoft the contract to modernize the Pentagon’s computing infrastructure. The lawsuit seeks to prohibit the department from proceeding with the deal without a new evaluation or award decision.

Pentagon spokesman Robert Carver said in a statement on Thursday that the Defense Department is “confident” in its JEDI award and would “continue to fight to put this urgently-needed capability into the hands of our men and women in uniform as quickly and efficiently as possible.”

The Pentagon’s JEDI project is designed to consolidate the department’s cloud computing infrastructure and modernize its technology systems. Amazon was widely seen as the front-runner for the contract because it previously won a lucrative cloud deal from the Central Intelligence Agency and had earned the highest levels of federal security authorizations.

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