Amazon has won a landmark ruling after an injunction was granted blocking the US government from proceeding with a $10 billion defense contract with rival Microsoft.
Yesterday a federal judge approved Amazon’s request for an injunction on the US Department of Defense’s (DoD) Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure (JEDI) contract, due to be worth $10 billion over 10 years.
The contract will now be put on hold while the case, which Amazon brought in November, is litigated.
Earlier this week the ecommerce giant filed court documents seeking to depose President Donald Trump, US defense secretary Mark Esper, former defense secretary James Mattis and four other “individuals who were instrumental” in ensuring the lucrative contract was awarded to Microsoft and not Amazon.
In October it was announced that Microsoft had beaten the market leader Amazon Web Services (AWS) to the Pentagon’s JEDI contract.
A month later Amazon said it planned to protest the decision in court, arguing that Trump launched “behind-the-scenes attacks” against it, ordering his staff to “screw Amazon” out of the deal.
A spokesperson for the DoD said that “the actions taken in this litigation have unnecessarily delayed implementing DoD’s modernisation strategy and deprived our warfighters of a set of capabilities they urgently need”.
“However, we are confident in our award of the Jedi cloud contract to Microsoft and remain focused on getting this critical capability into the hands of our warfighters as quickly and efficiently as possible”.
The injunction is a significant and largely unexpected ruling and according to George Washington University’s Professor Steven Schooner particularly “unusual”.
““By agreeing with Amazon that they’re entitled to the injunction, what the court is signalling is that ultimately it’s more likely than not that (Amazon) will prevail,” he added.