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

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

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A federal judge on Thursday ordered the Pentagon to temporarily halt a $10 billion cloud-computing contract with Microsoft after Amazon claimed President Trump caused it to lose out on the lucrative deal.

As of now, neither Amazon or the Department of Defense have spoken to news of the injunction, and we'll update accordingly as new information becomes available.

Microsoft in October won the Pentagon's Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure, or JEDI, cloud contract, estimated to be worth as much as $10 billion over a decade. Both the documents requesting the work stoppage and the judge's decision Thursday to issue the temporary injunction are sealed by the court.

The US president has often attacked Amazon and boss Jeff Bezos, who also owns the Washington Post newspaper.

Amazon did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The company is also looking to question the former and current secretaries of defense and other officials.

Pentagon spokesman Robert Carver said in a statement that the ruling unnecessarily delays implementation of the cloud contract and deprives "warfighters of a set of capabilities they urgently need". "We have confidence in the Department of Defense, and we believe the facts will show they ran a detailed, thorough and fair process in determining the needs of the warfighter were best met by Microsoft". Amazon was initially favored to win the contract, which defense officials say will advance the U.S. military's technological advantage.

In arguments making a case for Trump's deposition, Amazon sought to fit Trump's actions on the JEDI contract into a broader pattern of interference. The contract is meant to give the military better access to data and technology from remote locations.

Last year, Mr Trump told reporters that the U.S. was looking closely at the contract, noting that he had been getting "tremendous complaints" from several companies about it.

The Defense Department has denied claims of bias. That included the president's role in a border wall contract, his push to block AT&T's acquisition of CNN parent company Time Warner and his impeachment by the House of Representatives over his dealings with Ukraine. The court blocked the firm from pursuing White House records, but ultimately approved that deal on other grounds.

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