The Department of Defense is considering canceling a multimillion-dollar contract awarded to Microsoft in 2019 as it is judicially confronted with Amazon, The Wall Street Journal published Monday.
The newspaper indicated that Pentagon officials are concerned about the possibility that a long judicial process will significantly delay the implementation of the project, which was awarded to Microsoft by the Trump administration, and therefore they are considering canceling it and starting over.
On April 28, a judge of the Court of Federal Claims rejected two motions filed by both the Department of Defense and Microsoft, asking the judge to dismiss the objections filed by Amazon, thus ensuring the continuation of the legal battle.
The Department of Defense decision to award the $10 billion cloud data storage contract to Microsoft, rather than Amazon, was unveiled in late 2019 and came as a surprise, as the frontrunner until then was the firm led by Jeff Bezos.
The contract, called the Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure (JEDI), aims to replace in-house storage systems with cloud data systems from tech giants, allowing access to the latest technology and massive servers.
In addition to the economic value of the contract, the largest in the Pentagon’s history in the technological field, its importance goes even further, as it could be followed by similar ones with different government agencies.
From the moment the decision was announced, Amazon accused the Department of Defense of responding to political rather than technical criteria and denounced alleged pressure from Trump to harm Bezos’ company, with whom the president had a public personal confrontation.
The e-commerce firm assured that Bezos was “perceived as a political enemy” by Trump, and that he had “repeatedly criticized both publicly and privately” the possibility of the award going to Amazon.
However, the political allegation is disputed, as Bill Gates, one of the founders of Microsoft, also did not have good relations with former President Donald Trump during his term in office.