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Pentagon asks to reconsider massive cloud contract award amid Amazon challenge

Microsoft won a Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure contract that led to contention from some of its competitors, including Amazon. | Drew Angerer/Getty Images

The Pentagon “wishes to reconsider” the award of its controversial cloud computing contract that Microsoft won in October, according to court documents released Thursday evening.

The Defense Department said in a filing that it wanted to take another look at some technical aspects of the Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure contract in light of both Amazon’s lawsuit after losing the up-to-$10 billion contract to Microsoft and a judge’s recent comments that Amazon’s case is “likely to succeed.” It did not, however, agree that President Donald Trump’s disparagement of Amazon influenced the Pentagon’s decision making, one of the core tenants of Amazon’s argument.

The Pentagon asked for 120 days to reconsider one way it evaluated price during the competition and its evaluation of the companies’ online marketplace offerings. The department also said it would look at all of the technical challenges raised by Amazon’s lawsuit.

“A remand here is in the interests of justice because it will provide the agency with an opportunity to reconsider the award decision at issue in light of AWS’s allegations, this Court’s opinion, and any new information gathered during the proposed remand,” the Pentagon wrote in the filing.

At the end of the 120 days, both the government and Amazon would decide if they wanted to pursue further action in the courts.

Amazon praised the court’s decision in a statement.

“We are pleased that the DoD has acknowledged ‘substantial and legitimate’ issues that affected the JEDI award decision, and that corrective action is necessary. We look forward to complete, fair, and effective corrective action that fully insulates the re-evaluation from political influence and corrects the many issues affecting the initial flawed award,” an Amazon Web Services spokesperson said.

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