Score one for AWS; judge grants JEDI injunction

A U.S. Court of Federal Claims judge has granted an injunction stopping work on DOD's JEDI cloud contract while AWS' protest is still pending.

The judge overseeing Amazon Web Services lawsuit to overturn Microsoft’s JEDI award has granted AWS an injunction that stops work on the contract.

AWS lost the competition for the $10 billion cloud infrastructure contract to Microsoft and has filed a protest with the U.S. Court of Federal Claims. Among its allegations, AWS says that the Defense Department picked Microsoft because of pressure from President Trump.

Trump has often made Amazon founder Jeff Bezos a target of complaints. Trump also has commented directly on the JEDI competition saying he had heard complaints that the competition was skewed in AWS’ favor.

In its court filings, AWS has asked to depose Trump, former Defense Secretary Jim Mattis, current Defense Secretary Mark Esper, Defense CIO Dana Deasy and unnamed participants in the selection process. No ruling has been made on that request.

AWS’ request for an injunction as well as Judge Patricia E. Campbell-Smith’s ruling are still sealed. But the online docket for the Court of Federal Claims states that DOD, “its officers, agents and employees, is hereby PRELIMINARILY ENJOINED from proceeding with contract activities.”

It also states that AWS must provide security of $42 million for payment of costs and damages in the event that it is later proved that the “injunction was issued wrongfully.” AWS has until Feb. 20 to file notice that is has obtained the security and provided a certification of the security to the clerk of the court.

The judge’s ruling stops JEDI from going live on Feb. 14 when DOD planned to start issuing task orders for unclassified work. Microsoft also was to have 180 days from the launch to begin offering classified services.

No hearings or deadlines are set yet that indicate when the judge will rule on AWS’s request for depositions or make a final ruling.

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