Amazon Challenge of Microsoft’s DOD Contract Will Succeed, Judge Rules
March 17, 2020
In an opinion issued in mid-February but not unsealed until March 6, U.S. Court of Federal Claims Judge Patricia Campbell-Smith said that Amazon is likely to succeed on a key argument of its challenge to the U.S. Department of Defense’s decision to award a cloud computing deal worth up to $10 billion to Microsoft Corp. She issued an order blocking work on the contract pending resolution of the challenge. Amazon argues that the contract was awarded to Microsoft because of improper influence by President Trump. The opinion did not mention that claim. It focused on how the Pentagon assessed Microsoft’s data storage in one price scenario, and said Amazon is likely to show that Microsoft’s scenario was not “technically feasible” as the Pentagon assessed. A Microsoft spokesman said the company believes it will ultimately be able to move forward, noting the decision focused on a “lone technical finding by the Department of Defense about data storage” under one price scenario out of six. Amazon’s lawsuit claims the Defense Department’s decision to select Microsoft was full of egregious errors as a result of improper pressure from Trump. Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos also owns the Washington Post, whose coverage has been critical of Trump.
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