Amazon ripped into Elon Musk in its latest filing in a series of tiffs with SpaceX over its plans to expand Starlink on Wednesday.
“The conduct of SpaceX and other Musk-led companies makes their view plain: rules are for other people, and those who insist upon or even simply request compliance are deserving of derision and ad hominem attacks,” a letter from Amazon to the Federal Communications Commission said.
The letter, first reported by CNBC’s Michael Sheetz, comes just a week after SpaceX responded to Amazon’s protest. At the time, the space company said Jeff Bezos’ lawsuits had “become a bigger bottleneck than the technology,” pointing out that Bezos-owned companies including Amazon and Blue Origin had filed complaints against SpaceX roughly every 16 days this year. Musk said on Twitter that suing SpaceX, was Bezos’ “full-time job.”
In its most recent letter to FCC, Amazon said that SpaceX’s letter was an “overheated response to an uncontroversial argument.” The company said the response failed to address the issue and focused primarily on attacking Amazon instead.
“It is with a sigh that Amazon responds to SpaceX’s recent attack on Amazon, which takes this familiar tack in order to distract from the actual problem,” the letter said. “The approach comes from a playbook familiar to any regulator faced with the unfortunate task of evenhandedly applying its rules to SpaceX: concede nothing, ignore rules whenever possible, and when all else fails, malign those that invoke them.”
The Amazon letter also focuses on criticising Musk, saying the SpaceX CEO demonstrates an unwillingness to comply with rules and government authorities and pointing out reports from The Wall Street Journal on Musk’s “War on Regulators.”
Amazon’s initial letter to the FCC registered concerns regarding SpaceX’s plans to expand Starlink into Gen2. It called for the FCC to require SpaceX to submit a new proposal because its proposal offered two options for how it would expand its satellite system, instead of one.
Starlink is part of Musk’s vision to build an interconnected internet network with thousands of satellites that would deliver high-speed internet to customers anywhere on the planet. Amazon’s satellite-internet subsidiary — Kuiper Systems — has a similar vision, but is expected to take about a decade to fully deploy its planned 3,236 satellites. While the Starlink service is still in beta, the company has over 100,000 users in 14 countries so far. SpaceX has launched 1,740 Starlink satellites to date, and its second generation project plans to have nearly 30,000 satellites in total.
Amazon’s latest complaint against SpaceX is one of many filed by companies affiliated with Bezos. Blue Origin, a space company launched by the billionaire, has filed multiple protests against NASA’s decision to select SpaceX over Blue Origin for its project to put boots on the moon. Most recently, Blue Origin took the issue to federal court, calling the NASA decision “unfair” and essentially halting SpaceX’s work on the project.
It is also not the first time that Musk and Bezos have sparred, as the two billionaires race to space.
When Bezos initially complained about the NASA decision for its lunar landing project Musk tweeted, “Can’t get it up (to orbit) lol.”
Spokespeople from Amazon and SpaceX were not immediately available to comment when contacted by Insider.