Oracle’s efforts to get a portion of the US Department of Defense’s $10 billion JEDI cloud computing contract may finally be at an end after a US appeals court fully rejected the company’s argument that it had been wrongfully excluded from the contract.
The decision comes after nearly a year of legal battles and another defeat for Oracle in a lower court. Oracle had claimed that the Pentagon had violated government rules in awarding the project to a single contractor. However, the appeals court found that, regardless of any issues with the award process, Oracle could not have suffered harm because it did not meet the requirements of the contract in the first place.
The government contract was awarded to Microsoft last fall and has been mired in controversy ever since.
The ruling effectively shuts the door on Oracle’s efforts to be involved in the Defense Department’s JEDI (Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure) project. It is also to some extent a vindication of the Pentagon’s contract process, which has come under fire from cloud computing companies like Oracle, US lawmakers, and even President Trump himself.
The decision on Oracle’s case does little to decide the ultimate fate of the JEDI contract.
Amazon, which was initially thought to be the prime candidate for the contract, has its own appeal pending in the court system. The judge presiding over that case has called Amazon’s claim ‘likely to succeed’ on the grounds that Microsoft’s proposal is technically unfeasible.
At the same time, the Department of Defense has been reviewing revised bids from both Microsoft and Amazon in order to make a new decision on the contract. That decision has been postponed multiple times and is now expected September 16.