business news in context, analysis with attitude

With brief, occasional, italicized and sometimes gratuitous commentary…

•  From the Seattle Times:

"An Amazon shareholder is questioning the relationship between Amazon’s satellite broadband venture, Project Kuiper, and Jeff Bezos’ space company, Blue Origin.

"The Cleveland Bakers and Teamsters Pension Fund, an Amazon stockholder, sued the company in Delaware," alleging that "Amazon’s directors and officers 'consciously and intentionally breached their most basic fiduciary responsibilities' by signing off on what could be billions of dollars of contracts between Project Kuiper and Blue Origin.

"Amazon’s board of directors did not scrutinize the contracts, seek outside analysis or protect the negotiation process from Bezos’ 'glaring conflict of interest,' the shareholders allege. Instead, the board acted 'ostrich-like,' sticking their head in the sand and approving the contracts in less than 40 minutes."

Project Kuiper is Amazon's effort to use satellites in low Earth orbit to increase access to broadband to under-served areas.  The Times says that Amazon is under a tight deadline to meet the terms of the Federal Communications Commission's approval of the project - it has to  launch half of its satellites by 2026 and all of them — 3,236 satellites — by 2029. 

While Amazon has outsourced some of the satellite contracts to other companies, the lawsuit alleges that the company never considered Elon Musk’s rocket company, SpaceX, which was shareholders said SpaceX was 'inexplicably'  not included in the process.

I hate to say it, but while Musk inarguably is a brilliant guy, he's also a nut - I wouldn't want to bet anything of value on him.  If Amazon decided not to do business with him, I'd describe that as a feature, not a glitch.