Two software giants and Department of Defense walk into a courtroom...
Instead of the start of a joke, that is the likely future for familiar sparring partners Oracle Corp. (ORCL) and Amazon (AMZN) as Oracle contests Amazon's application for the award of the Pentagon's $10 billion Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure (JEDI) contract.
Amazon applied for and was granted entry into the case as a defendant, only shortly after Oracle filed a suit in federal court, adding fuel to the fire of the combatant relationship between Oracle CEO Larry Ellison and Amazon Web Services CEO Andy Jassy.
Oracle alleges that the RFP process is unfair and biased towards Amazon, particularly due to the involvement of former Amazon employees in advising the government's procurement process.
The suit alleges that two members of Amazon Web Services were involved in the government's selection of a vendor.
Given the winner-take-all nature of the $10 billion contract contest, this advantage was highlighted as an unfair favoring of Amazon and adds that the 10-year nature of the contract is anti-competitive.
It is worth noting that the complaints filed in court are similar to those lodged earlier this year to the Government Accountability Office that were piled onto by IBM (IBM) , which is also vying for the cloud contract.
That requests was denied in mid-November.
"Oracle America, Inc., of Reston, Virginia, protests various aspects of request for proposals issued by the Department of Defense to obtain comprehensive cloud services...Oracle protests that the RFP provisions leading to a single-award indefinite-delivery, indefinite-quantity (IDIQ) contract are contrary to statute and regulation; the terms of the solicitation exceed the agency's needs and the agency failed to properly consider potential conflicts of interest," the complaint reads.
The government's rejection was terse.
"We deny the protest."
Amazon Adds to Government Defense
Denied the avenue of complaint, Oracle has chosen to go through the court system against the government.
However, Amazon has given them more than they anticipated, as the Seattle-based cloud giant has inserted itself into the defendants chair, noting its material interest in defending itself from accusations of collusion.
Given the company's "victories" against both IBM and Oracle's prior complaints, the odds may be tilted in favor of the Seattle-based behemoth. Though the verdict is far from certain.
What is for certain is that there is no love lost between Oracle and Amazon as their contentious cloud battle enters the courtroom.