U.S. Court of Federal Claims Judge Patricia Campbell-Smith says Amazon is likely to win its lawsuit challenging Microsoft’s win of a coveted Pentagon contract.
Last year Microsoft surprised Amazon, and industry insiders alike, by securing the Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure Cloud (JEDI) contract from the U.S. Department of Defense (DOD), worth some $10 billion. Many believed Amazon was all but guaranteed to win the contract, given its long history of working on sensitive projects for the government. In addition, at the time the contract was awarded, Amazon was the only company to have the coveted Impact Level 6 security clearance, although Microsoft was awarded it shortly thereafter.
Amazon almost immediately launched a lawsuit to overturn the contract award, claiming improper interference by President Trump, who allegedly told then-Defense Secretary James Mattis to “screw Amazon.” Amazon was successful in getting a temporary injunction, preventing Microsoft from beginning work on the contract, which was slated to begin February 13.
According to U.S. News & World Report, although she did not address Trump’s comments, “Campbell-Smith wrote Amazon ‘is likely to succeed on the merits of its argument that the DOD improperly evaluated’ a Microsoft price scenario. She added Amazon is likely to show that Microsoft’s scenario was not ‘technically feasible’ as the Pentagon assessed.”
Given that Microsoft is already counting on a halo effect from winning the contract, having the Pentagon’s decision overturned would be a big loss for the company.