Things are starting to heat up in the war over the Pentagon’s JEDI cloud contract. After an injunction request by Amazon, Microsoft’s work on the $10 billion deal has been temporarily suspended.
The development follows complaints from the retail giant that the contract was awarded to Microsoft unfairly. It alleges that Donald Trump showed a clear and public bias against CEO Jeff Bezos, and highlights a report that he told his defense secretary to ‘screw’ AWS.
Last week, Amazon upped the publicity by calling on the president to testify, claiming that he has unique knowledge surrounding how far his influence in the contract extended. The documents surrounding its recent injunction request are closed off, but a public notice was posted with the confirmation of suspension.
Though Amazon has been awarded the injunction, it comes with a catch. It will have to create a security fund of $42 million. Should the court later find that the action is improper, it will have to pay that out to Microsoft in damages.
In response to the announcement, Microsoft said it was disappointed by the delay but that it believes it will ultimately be able to continue its work.
A Defense Department spokesperson said, “the actions taken in this litigation have unnecessarily delayed implementing DoD’s modernization strategy and deprived our warfighters of a set of capabilities they urgently need.”
Meanwhile, some surprised legal experts say it’s unusual to halt work on the contract unless they see some merit in the case. Whatever the outcome, this will have caused quite the upset for Microsoft’s workers, who suddenly find everything in question.