Cloud provider Oracle asked the US Supreme Court not to declare moot its case over the Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure (JEDI) contract. The Department of Defense (DoD) scrapped the $10 billion contract, mired in controversy, earlier this year.
The DoD awarded the JEDI contract to Microsoft over rival Amazon. The scorned cloud giant, along with other cloud providers like Oracle, were quick to dispute the process. Ultimately, the DoD canceled the agreement and created a new one. This opened the way for companies to apply again.
The lawsuits against the original award to Microsoft didn’t officially factor into the decision to scrap it and start over. Therefore, the DoD didn’t admit to any “misconduct,” nor was any found. Yet, this is the term Oracle uses in its request.
In its statement, the company said: “Far from making it ‘absolutely clear’ that the challenged misconduct will not recur, the Department essentially admits the challenged misconduct will continue.”
Oracle bases its bid to continue the case on the way the DoD crafted the new contract. Namely, it asserts that the new formulation makes Microsoft and Amazon the only eligible firms, prejudicing Oracle.
Standoff in Cloud City
Oracle, colloquially known as Big Red, isn’t as familiar to the general public as Microsoft and Amazon. Still, it’s a formidable figure in the cloud industry. In 2020, it boasted revenue numbers just shy of those by AWS and Microsoft Azure.
The provider offers cloud hosting, storage, networking, and various other services. It also attempts to increase its reach, partnering (to a degree) with Microsoft Azure. Therefore, it makes sense that the company feels scorned by its exclusion from such a prestigious contract.
The DoD’s new contract—the Joint Warfighting Cloud Capability contract—aims to raise the department’s networking, computing, and storage cloud capabilities. Any company involved stands to make billions. Plus, it will become intertwined with the US’ defense efforts, as the US aims to improve relations between government and private sectors to combat rising cyber threats.
Oracle filed its challenge only last week, so the situation will take some time to develop. The Department of Defence, Microsoft, and Amazon haven’t publicly commented on the move yet.