Amazon slams SpaceX, tells FCC that Musk-led companies are rule-breakers

Illustration of many satellites orbiting the Earth.

Enlarge / Artist’s impression of low Earth-orbit satellites like those launched by SpaceX and OneWeb. (credit: NOIRLab / NSF / AURA / P. Marenfeld)

In the ongoing battle between the two companies, Amazon fired back at SpaceX today at the Federal Communications Commission, claiming that the Starlink operator refuses to obey the rules and that it launches unjustified attacks on anyone who points out SpaceX’s rule-breaking.

“Whether it is launching satellites with unlicensed antennas, launching rockets without approval, building an unapproved launch tower, or re-opening a factory in violation of a shelter-in-place order, 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,” Amazon told the FCC.

Two weeks ago, Amazon urged the FCC to reject SpaceX’s proposal for the next-generation version of Starlink that could include up to 30,000 broadband satellites. Amazon claims that SpaceX violated a rule against incomplete and inconsistent applications by submitting plans for “two mutually exclusive configurations” with “very different orbital parameters.” SpaceX says it is pitching two possible configurations in case its preferred setup doesn’t work out and says this does not violate the FCC rule. SpaceX also told the FCC that Amazon frequently tries to hinder competitors to “compensate for Amazon’s failure to make progress of its own.”

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