JEDI is not Luke Skywalker or Obiwan Kenobi. It’s the Pentagon’s Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure contract, worth up to a billion dollars a year for at least the next decade.
Sadly for Amazon, the Pentagon, home of the massive and misnamed US Department of “Defense” (DoD) awarded it to Microsoft in October 2019, and again — after Amazon’s complaints forced a do-over — in September 2020.
But Amazon is back in court, a little like Donald Trump or any movie super-villain that keeps coming back even after you think he’s dead for sure this time.
The contract, which would put a commercial company in charge of global war cloud and swaths of secret and top secret data, could be worth up to $10 billion over the next decade. However, it was conceived nearly four years ago and has yet to get off the ground, having faced four separate legal challenges by various companies competing for it. JEDI remains under a court-ordered injunction.
On Wednesday, the court unsealed separate responses to AWS’ complaint filed by attorneys for the Defense Department and Microsoft. Attorneys for the Defense Department called AWS’ protest a “prohibited strategic gambit,” suggesting that AWS used the president’s public statements and tweets of dislike toward Amazon and founder Jeff Bezos as a means to cry bias if they lost JEDI.
In a statement responding to AWS’ complaint, Microsoft’s corporate vice president of communications, Frank Shaw, said, “Amazon seems to be saying the only way they can ever lose is if the procurement isn’t fair.” Shaw added, “But every month, the market tells them that’s not true. Large and sophisticated customers regularly choose Microsoft over AWS. They do this because of the strength of our technology, our understanding of complex projects, and our overall value.”