Amazon “likely to succeed” on Key Argument in Pentagon Lawsuit

on Mar 8, 2020
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  • Judge Patricia Campbell-Smith said Amazon’s case against DOD’s decision to award Microsoft with the cloud computing contract is “likely to s쳮d”.
  • Amazon contends that the deal was awarded to Microsoft because of improper influence of President Donald Trump
  • In the court document, the judge supported Amazon’s argument that the Pentagon made a mistake in assessing prices

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A U.S. federal judge said that Amazon’s protest lawsuit over Department of Defense’s decision to award Microsoft with the cloud computing deal “is likely to succeed on the merits”, according to a court document published on March 6.

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The document indicates that judge Patricia Campbell-Smith of the U.S. Court of Federal Claims may rule in a high-risk bid protest regarding the Pentagon’s JEDI cloud computing deal, which was granted to Microsoft a few months ago after President Donald Trump and members of Congress intervened.

Amazon argues that the deal was awarded to Microsoft due to inappropriate intervention on the part of Trump.

The document didn’t mention Trump or Amazon’s allegations over inappropriate influence, but it did talk about how the Pentagon evaluated Microsoft’s data storage in one price scenario.

Judge Campbell-Smith ordered the Pentagon to cease work on JEDI. In the document, she supports Amazon’s argument that the Pentagon was wrong in assessing prices for contending proposals from Amazon and Microsoft.

Amazon is capable of showing that Microsoft’s proposal was not “technically feasible” as the Pentagon evaluated, said the judge.

She added that the Pentagon’s assessment is likely to affect Amazon materially, a company that holds an important place for government contract bid protests. Microsoft and DOD’s complaints that Amazon should have expressed its concerns earlier were rejected by the judge.

DOD’s spokesperson said the department is disappointed in the court’s decision, but refused to comment on its specifics.

“We remain focused on getting this critical capability into the hands of our warfighters as quickly and efficiently as possible,” Lt. Col. Robert Carver, a Pentagon spokesman wrote.

Microsoft thinks that in the end, it will be able to move ahead, saying that the ruling is focused on “lone technical finding by the Department of Defense about data storage” and under one price scenario out of six, according to the company’s spokesman Frank X.

Shaw’s statement. Shaw added that the judge cited one matter where “the government makes it clear that in their view Microsoft’s solution met the technical standards and performed as needed.”

“In the context of procurement for cloud computing services, the court considers it quite likely that this failure is material,” said judge Campbell-Smith.

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