Judge orders suspension of Microsoft JEDI cloud computing contract in response to Amazon request

A U.S. judge on Thursday approved Amazon’s request to suspend Microsoft’s $10 billion cloud computing contract with the U.S. Department of Defense. A court notice announcing the injunction was filed on Thursday, but the ban has not been released publicly and it is unclear why the documents were sealed.

Judge orders suspension of Microsoft JEDI cloud computing contract in response to Amazon request

Microsoft’s shares plunged slightly after the news, falling 0.48 percent to $183.83. Amazon shares rose 0.24 percent to $2,165.11.

The U.S. Department of Defense announced in October that it had awarded Microsoft a $10 billion contract for the Joint Defense Foundation Cloud Facility (JEDI). Amazon has complained, accusing U.S. President Donald Trump of “inappropriate pressure” and bias that led to the contract being missed.

Mr. Trump has often criticized Amazon and its chief executive, Jeff Bezos, who also owns The Washington Post.

Last month, Amazon’s cloud computing division, AWS, filed a formal motion asking the court to suspend Microsoft’s work on the JEDI contract, saying the evaluation process included “obvious flaws, errors and bias.” The court finally approved the motion on Thursday.

Court documents filed in December detail ingress with why Amazon challenged the JEDI contract decision. Amazon said Mr. Trump launched a “behind-the-scenes attack” on the company, which led to the company losing its cloud computing contract. Amazon called on the Defense Department to end the ruling and conduct another review of the proposals submitted.

Earlier this week, Amazon sought testimony from Mr. Trump and U.S. Defense Secretary Mark Esper about the cloud service agreement. Amazon believes it needs to listen to Mr. Trump to understand the scope of his involvement in the bidding process.

An Amazon spokesman said the company was protesting the award decision to determine that the award process was “free from political interference.”