Bezos bedevils Musk, NASA on Starlink

elon musk

Today there is more in the back and forth between two international technology magnates, both with impressive kingdoms that are household names at home and abroad.

Grace Kay at Business Insider reports Elon Musk’s SpaceX company, in trying to evolve its space satellite system, is responding to new challenges by Jeff Bezos, head of Amazon, revolving around the idea that the company’s Starlink application for those satellite systems may not be in proper format for submission to the FCC.

Bezos contends that the Starlink application is too vague and not narrowed down to one concrete premise – Musk calls the comments “theatrical” and a form of “gamesmanship” intended to distract, according to Kay’s coverage.

“As usual, Amazon tries to prevent a fair review on the merits by using procedural gamesmanship,” SpaceX spokespersons write. “Despite its theatrics, Amazon does not identify a single fact, figure or scintilla of data that SpaceX omitted from its application.”

With 1740 Starlink satellites in the field and a user community of around 100,000, Musk’s satellite program, though still in beta, is essentially up and running. By contrast, Bezos’ Project Kuiper, with its own plan to deploy satellites, is still in its drawing board stages.

Although none of Musk’s companies have the prominence of being in the renowned U.S. FAANG group of dominant tech  stocks, his electric car company Tesla needs no introduction, and SpaceX is dominating its field as well, although spokespersons have said that Bezos’ efforts are now “bigger bottlenecks than the technology.”

In context, too, Bezos has not been content to just challenge his rival. Prior coverage by Kay in August shows he has also sued NASA for choosing SpaceX for its Human Landing System program, claiming that NASA told him they would choose more than one company.

In response, NASA cited costs and logistics.

How is this going to play out? It’s likely that we’ll continue to see this rivalry expand, and that may have potentially big impact on technology markets.