SpaceX says Amazon is trying to delay Starlink because it can't compete

The space slap fight continues.

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Devindra Hardawar
September 1st, 2021
SPACE-EXPLORATION/BEZOS
Bezos on stage at a Blue Origin event. Clodagh Kilcoyne / Reuters

SpaceX isn't pulling any punches in its response to Amazon's latest stalling tactics. Yesterday, SpaceX told the FCC that Amazon is purposefully trying to delay proposals for its Starlink satellite internet service. The reason? Amazon still can't compete with its own satellite solution, Kuiper Systems, Ars Technica reports. This wouldn't be a first for a Bezos-owned company, of course: a similar complaint from Blue Origin led NASA to put SpaceX's lunar lander contract on hold

"Amazon’s recent missive is unfortunately only the latest in its continuing efforts to slow down competition, while neglecting to resolve the Commission’s concerns about Amazon’s own nongeostationary orbit (“NGSO”) satellite system," SpaceX said in its filing to the FCC. "The Commission should see through these efforts and quickly put SpaceX’s application out for public comment where any issues can be fully vetted."

Amazon last week urged the FCC to reject SpaceX's proposal for Starlink, claiming that it broke the agency's rules by offering two separate configurations for its satellite internet. Starlink shot back, claiming that Amazon still hasn't told the FCC how it would avoid interfering with other services, or how it would follow rules around orbital debris. 

"But while Amazon has filed nothing with the Commission to address these conditions on its own license for nearly 400 days, it took only 4 days to object to SpaceX’s next-generation NGSO system," SpaceX wrote. The company noted that Amazon hasn't had a single meeting this year with the FCC to address its complaints, and it still hasn't fleshed out details for its satellite system.

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