Judge halts Pentagon's $10B deal with Microsoft in victory for Amazon

U.S. judge orders temporary halt to Microsoft’s work on Pentagon’s JEDI contract

Pentagon forced to halt work on $10bn Microsoft contract after Amazon claims that Trump interfered

A federal judge temporarily blocked Microsoft Corp. from working on a $10 billion Pentagon cloud-computing contract after Amazon.com Inc. asked for the delay as it challenges the validity of the award over allegations that President Donald Trump interfered.

The order was issued by Judge Patricia Campbell-Smith in the US Court of Federal Claims on, and the contents of the opinion now remain under seal.

A public court notice, however, confirmed the injunction on the Pentagon and noted that Amazon will have to establish a security fund of $42 million that will be used to pay damages if the court later finds the injunction was improper.

Judge Patricia E. Campbell-Smith issued the injunction but did not release her written opinion.

The protest filed in the US Court of Federal Claims urges that the rival JEDI bids be re-evaluated.

An earlier court filing by Amazon detailed alleged errors that ended with Microsoft being chosen over its Amazon Web Services (AWS) cloud computing division, part of the technology group led by Bezos.

Pentagon spokesman Lt. Col. Robert Carver said in a statement that the department was disappointed in the ruling that delayed changes "and deprived our warfighters of a set of capabilities they urgently need".

Amazon did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Microsoft's shares closed 0.54% lower at $183.71 on Thursday and traded mostly unchanged in the after-hours session.

Amazon announced strong quarterly results Thursday after the market close, with $6.47 earnings per share on an expected $4.04 (per FactSet) and total revenue of $87.44 billion on $86.02 billion expected.

Last month, Amazon asked the court to block Microsoft from starting work on the JEDI contract, which was supposed to happen on February 14, this year.

A federal judge on Thursday issued an order temporarily blocking the USA military from awarding a multibillion-dollar cloud computing contract to Microsoft, after Amazon claimed the process was tainted by politics. Among the leaders Amazon seeks to depose are Trump, former Defense Secretary James Mattis, Defense Secretary Mark Esper and Dana Deasy, the Pentagon's chief information officer. In seeking the injunction the firm had said it was "important that the numerous evaluation errors and blatant political interference that impacted the Jedi award decision be reviewed". The Pentagon has already begun identifying programs that could be transitioned into the JEDI cloud environment.

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