Investor sues Amazon for giving hefty launch contracts to Bezos' Blue Origin
IANS 01 September 2023
An institutional investor has sued e-commerce giant Amazon and its board, including founder Jeff Bezos, alleging there was no due diligence in the company's Project Kuiper “hefty launch contracts to Blue Origin” which is Bezos’ aerospace company.
The suit, filed by Amazon shareholders the Cleveland Bakers and Teamsters Pension Fund, alleged that the company’s board “spent less than 40 minutes approving the launch agreements for Amazon’s Project Kuiper mega-constellation, while not even considering leading launch company (and Blue Origin rival) SpaceX,” reports TechCrunch.
“Amazon’s directors likely devoted barely an hour before blindly signing off on funneling… Amazon’s money to Bezos’ unproven, struggling rocket company,” the lawsuit read.
The plaintiffs said that the Amazon board failed to protect the negotiation process “from Bezos’ glaring conflict of interest.”
The lawsuit has been filed with Delaware’s Court of Chancery, according to the report. So far, Amazon has spent nearly $1.7 billion on the launch contracts, of which $585 million went to Blue Origin.
In July, Amazon announced it is building a $120 million facility for its Project Kuiper satellites in the US, as it aims to catch up with its arch rival SpaceX Starlink run by Elon Musk.
Amazon is preparing to launch two prototype satellites in the coming months to help test its network and subsystems, and expects to begin production launches and early enterprise customer pilots in 2024.
Project Kuiper infrastructure includes a constellation of over 3,200 satellites in low Earth orbit, affordable, high-performance customer terminals, and ground networking enabled by Amazon Web Services
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