Amazon intervenes as defendant in Oracle's JEDI cloud lawsuit, calls allegations 'meritless'

By Justin Doubleday / December 13, 2018 at 12:59 PM

Amazon Web Services has been allowed to intervene as a defendant in Oracle America's lawsuit against the federal government challenging a massive Pentagon cloud contract, as AWS argues Oracle's conflict-of-interest allegations are "meritless."

In a motion filed yesterday, Amazon argues it has "direct and substantial economic interests at stake" in Oracle's lawsuit challenging the JEDI request for proposals in the U.S. Court of Federal Claims.

"AWS timely submitted a proposal in response to the RFP and is currently seeking to be awarded the contract under the JEDI cloud procurement," the motion states. "Moreover, Oracle’s complaint specifically alleges conflicts of interest involving AWS."

Oracle is challenging DOD's decision to make a single award for the JEDI contract on multiple counts, including allegations that two DOD officials involved in crafting the acquisition strategy had "significant" conflicts of interest tied to their work with AWS.

Amazon argues the government's interest in defending against such bid protests centers on "preserving the discretion of agency officials" and being allowed to move forward with the procurement without delays.

"AWS has separate interests that the government has no incentive to defend, such as AWS's proprietary and financial interests in its proposal and AWS's reputational interest in defending against Oracle's meritless conflict of interest allegations," the motion states.

Today, the judge in the case granted Amazon's motion, according to court filings. The company is being represented by Crowell & Moring. Oracle is represented by Arnold & Porter.

Oracle filed the case in the Court of Federal Claims last week. Due to the conflict-of-interest allegations, as well as several counts that take issue with the Pentagon's decisions to make a single award and limit competition, Oracle is asking the court to prevent DOD from moving forward with the JEDI contract.

The company filed suit after the Government Accountability Office dismissed its claims last month. GAO recently dismissed a similar protest against the JEDI solicitation filed by IBM, citing Oracle's case before the court.

A status conference to decide on how to proceed with Oracle's lawsuit is scheduled for today, according to the case docket.

The Pentagon has declined to comment on Oracle's lawsuit. The deadline for proposals on the potential 10-year, $10 billion JEDI contract closed in October, with the Defense Department planning to make an award in April.