U.S. Supreme Court rebuffs Oracle challenge to Pentagon cloud contract

FILE PHOTO: The company logo for Oracle Corp. is displayed on a screen on the floor at the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York, U.S., September 18, 2019. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid/File Photo

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday put an end to Oracle Corp's challenge to how the Pentagon awarded the government's now-canceled $10 billion JEDI cloud computing contract.

The justices declined to hear Oracle's appeal of a lower court ruling that found that the Austin, Texas-based business software maker was not harmed by any errors made by the Pentagon in awarding the contract because the company would not have qualified for it in the first place.

The U.S. Defense Department awarded the sole-source cloud computing procurement contract to Microsoft Corp in 2019, but scrapped that deal in July, announcing a new contract that is expected to include Amazon.com, which also had been excluded from the prior one.

Oracle wanted the justices to hear the appeal despite the fact that the JEDI contract had been canceled because it said the flaws in that contract could recur as the government screens bidders for a new one.

The now-canceled Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure Cloud (JEDI) contract was part of a broader digital modernization of the Pentagon aimed at making it more technologically agile.

Oracle sued in 2018 to protest the structure of the procurement and certain Pentagon employees' conflicts of interest involving Amazon, which ultimately lost the JEDI award to Microsoft.

The Washington-based U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, which hears appeals involving government contracts, ruled against Oracle last year, saying that the company would not have had a substantial chance of securing the contract.

Like Oracle, Amazon had filed suit protesting the JEDI sole-source deal, arguing that then-President Donald Trump exerted improper pressure on military officials to steer the contract away from Amazon. That litigation has now been dismissed https://www.reuters.com/legal/government/us-judge-ends-amazon-challenge-10-bln-cloud-contract-after-pentagon-cancellation-2021-07-09.

(Reporting by Andrew Chung in New York; Editing by Will Dunham)

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