Amazon Wants To Depose Trump, Pentagon Officials In $10B JEDI Contract Protest
Feb. 11, 2020
Amazon.com Inc.'s (NASDAQ: AMZN ) cloud subsidiary is seeking to depose President Donald Trump and senior Pentagon officials in its protest against the $10 billion contract awarded to rival Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ: MSFT ).
Amazon Web Services, in its lawsuit against the award of the much-coveted Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure Cloud, or JEDI, military contract to Microsoft, asked the court to grant discovery in a motion revealed Monday, Reuters reported .
The Jeff Bezos-led company has long maintained that President Trump personally interfered in the contract award and asked military officials to "screw Amazon."
AWS is also seeking to question Defense Secretary Mark Esper, former Defense Secretary James Mattis, Pentagon's chief information officer Dana Deasy, and the source selection authority and its chairman, according to Reuters.
"President Trump has repeatedly demonstrated his willingness to use his position as President and Commander in Chief to interfere with government functions – including federal procurements – to advance his personal agenda," an AWS spokesperson said in a statement issued to Reuters.
"The question is whether the president of the United States should be allowed to use the budget of the D.O.D. to pursue his own personal and political ends."
Why It Matters
The JEDI contract was awarded to Microsoft October last year after a year-long tussle involving three other tech giants, including Amazon, Oracle Corporation (NYSE: ORCL ), and the International Business Machines Corporation (NYSE: IBM ).
Amazon, widely considered a leader in cloud services, was said to be leading the race until President Trump allegedly intervened in the matter.
The president, purportedly discontent with the reporting of Bezos-owned newspaper The Washington Post, asked the Pentagon officials to overlook Amazon's bid , the company alleged earlier.
Amazon has asked a court to halt the progress on Microsoft's work on the project until its protest has been ruled upon.
Amazon's shares closed 2.63% higher at $2,133.91 on Monday. The shares inched higher in the after-hours session at $2,138.80.
Microsoft's shares closed similarly 2.62% higher at $188.70 and traded slightly higher at $189.68 in the after-hours market.