Thursday 13 February 2020 8:21 pm

Judge pauses Microsoft's $10bn Pentagon contract in Amazon lawsuit

A US judge has temporarily blocked Microsoft’s $10bn (£7.66bn) Pentagon cloud computing contract, in response to a lawsuit filed by Amazon.

Judge Patricia E. Campbell-Smith issued the injunction but did not release her written opinion.

Read more: Amazon seeks to depose Trump in $10bn Pentagon contract battle

Amazon Web Services has been told to earmark $42m to pay for costs and damages in the event that today’s injunction was ‘issued wrongfully’.

The tech giant launched the legal battle in January, alleging that President Donald Trump exerted “undue influence” on the decision to hand the 10-year Joint Enterprise Defence Infrastructure (Jedi) cloud contract to Microsoft.

As part of the lawsuit Amazon asked the court to pause the execution of Jedi, which is intended to give the US military better access to data and technology from remote locations. 

Earlier this week Amazon Web Services announced it was seeking to depose Trump and US defence secretary Mark Esper to find out “exactly how President Trump’s order to ‘screw Amazon” was carried out during the decision making process. 

Read more: Amazon withdraws from Mobile World Congress due to coronavirus

Otherwise “the court cannot objectively and fully evaluate AWS’s credible and well-grounded allegations about bias and bad faith,” it said.

Trump has previously lashed out at Amazon founder Jeff Bezos and publicly criticised the company. Bezos also owns the Washington Post, which has been critical of the Trump administration.