As the battle over the multibillion dollar Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure (JEDI) contract — which was awarded to Microsoft last year — heats up, Microsoft has asked the court to partially dismiss a challenge brought by rival Amazon.
Continue Reading Below
Microsoft, in a filing unsealed on Monday viewed by The Washington Post, said Amazon has focused its arguments on President Trump’s comments on the contract due to a lack of “a compelling case on the merits of a traditional bid protest.”
Amazon requested to depose Trump, whom the company claims unduly influenced the procurement process through his alleged hostility toward Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos.
Trump made comments over the summer that the contract may have been biased in favor of Amazon.
But Microsoft’s lawyers argue that Amazon presents no evidence that Trump’s comments are relevant to the process.
“Virtually none of the public statements cited by AWS in its complaint mentions the JEDI procurement in any way,” Microsoft’s lawyers wrote, according to The Post. “Nor does the complaint make even a single factual allegation that President Trump ever spoke directly to any identified DoD procurement officers about the JEDI procurement, much less instructed them to award the contract to Microsoft.”
In response, a spokesperson for Amazon’s cloud unit – Amazon Web Services – told FOX Business it disagrees with the motions for partial dismissal.
“AWS believes that all of its protest grounds are valid, and that it’s important that the numerous evaluation errors and blatant political interference that impacted the JEDI award decision be reviewed,” the spokesperson said.
A spokesperson for Microsoft did not immediately return FOX Business’ request for comment.
Amazon filed a lawsuit in November challenging the Pentagon’s decision to award the massive contract to Microsoft, citing “unmistakable bias” in the evaluation process. It filed a motion in court last month to pause work on the job until its protest of the contract had been ruled on.
In October, Microsoft was declared the winner in the race, which became the object of heightened scrutiny. Amazon had been considered the frontrunner due to its other standing cloud deals, including a $600 million cloud contract with the CIA. That indicates the company already has the approval to handle sensitive government data. The company, however, got drawn up in public controversy.
The Department of Defense reviewed the pending cloud contract following complaints there had been conflicts of interest involving Amazon and Department of Defense employees throughout the procurement process.
Republicans sent a letter to Trump in July asking him to request that the Pentagon delay declaring either Amazon or Microsoft a winner.
A spokesperson for the Pentagon also did not immediately return FOX Business' request for comment.