Jeff Bezos is going forward with plans to sue NASA for not picking his space company Blue Origin. While the Amazon founder continues to hinder progress for the storage agency's 2024 moonwalk mission, he's also beefing up his legal team.
In an unsurprising turn, Blue Origin has hired Pallas Advisors, a consultancy firm that has a long history with Amazon. Reported by Ars Technica, the firm's founding partners worked as Amazon consultants. Additionally, they worked at the Department of Defense where, allegedly, they attempted to get Amazon the $10 billion JEDI contract.
Blue Origin gets Pallas Advisors to help sue NASA
Jeff Bezos’ legal attack on NASA comes after losing the moonwalk contract to SpaceX. Despite Bezos offering billions of dollars in discounts, NASA chose to pick SpaceX’s contract. While not outrightly said, this is likely due to SpaceX actually having successful space missions. In response, Bezos sued.
Pallas Advisors is a consultancy company tied to “national security, defense, and innovation”. Ars Technica reports that sources have no idea what Blue Origin’s partnership with the firm will provide the space company. However, the firm will likely just be helping to build some sort of usable case against NASA.
This is far from surprising. As it turns out, Bezos has a long history of partnering with Pallas Advisors’ founders Sally Donnelly and Tony DeMartino.
Amazon, Pallas and Trump
In a Bloomberg article in 2018, it was reported that Donnelly DeMartino were rigging the JEDI contract in favour of Amazon. When the Pentagon went to deal with its JEDI cloud computing contract, the contract allegedly seemed purpose-built for Amazon.
In August 2019, former President Donald Trump ordered an investigation into reported Amazon favoritism. Microsoft would then win the $10 billion deal, but that deal would be cancelled this year. Before its cancellation, Amazon sued on the basis that Trump had a “personal vendetta” against Bezos.
Bezos and Amazon have been criticised as anticompetitive when it comes to dealings like this. If this NASA lawsuit goes just as Bezos’ JEDI lawsuit went, then the 2024 moonwalk mission may be cancelled after all.