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

Judge halts Microsoft work on Cloud contract after Amazon suit

Judge halts Microsoft work on Cloud contract after Amazon suit

As part of the lawsuit, Amazon wants to question Trump about his communications with its competitors and with Pentagon officials to establish his "well-documented personal animus towards Mr. Bezos, Amazon, and the Washington Post", according to a court filing.

A federal judge temporarily blocked Microsoft Corp. from working on a $10 billion Pentagon cloud-computing contract after Amazon.com Inc. asked for the delay as it challenges the validity of the award over allegations that President Donald Trump interfered.

A temporary injunction requested by Amazon was issued by USA judge Patricia Campbell-Smith, barring the Department of Defense from starting work on the contract known as JEDI, according to a summary of the ruling available online.

Details of the ruling were sealed for unspecified reasons.

A judge ordered a block on the Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure (JEDI) initiative, a huge effort to modernise the USA military's computer systems, which the Department of Defense had awarded to Microsoft in October.

The Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure (JEDI) contract was awarded to Microsoft last October. Amazon Web Services, Amazon's cloud computing division, filed a lawsuit in November alleging the Defense Department failed to fairly judge its bid for the contract because Trump viewed Amazon Chief Executive Officer Jeff Bezos as his "political enemy".

Microsoft said it hoped to prevail after the merits of the case are heard in court.

"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".

The Pentagon and Amazon did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Mr Trump has repeatedly attacked the Washington Post newspaper, which Mr Bezos owns, as well as accusing Amazon of harming the United States postal service. Amazon is required to set up a security fund of $42 million that will be used to pay damages if the court later finds the injunction was improper.

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