Mr Musk has poked fun at Jeff Bezos

Credit: Reuters

Amazon has accused Elon Musk of acting as if he is "above the rules" in a furious attack on the Tesla founder as his battle with fellow billionaire Jeff Bezos becomes increasingly ugly.

In a blistering letter to US regulators, Amazon – founded by Mr Bezos in 1994 said that Mr Musk had repeatedly flouted regulations and attacked those who tried to hold him to account.

Amazon is locked in a row with SpaceX, Mr Musk’s rocket launch company, over their competing plans to launch satellite internet networks. SpaceX is also facing separate legal challenges from Mr Bezos’ own space company, Blue Origin.

In a filing with America’s Federal Communications Commission (FCC), Amazon said: "Whether it is launching satellites with unlicensed antennas, launching rockets without approval, building an unapproved launch tower, or reopening 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."

The letter, signed by Andrew Keisner, the lead counsel for Amazon’s Project Kuiper satellite project, said that Mr Musk and SpaceX had engaged in "ad-hominem attacks and a belief that it can influence regulators via social media".

Turns out Besos retired in order to pursue a full-time job filing lawsuits against SpaceX …

— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) August 27, 2021

He added: "If SpaceX and Musk continue to hold themselves above the rules, they should buckle up: they will only draw further protest from Amazon and others who want to see rules applied to everyone equally."

Amazon is seeking to block SpaceX from launching the next generation of its Starlink internet service, claiming a planned change to how it operates breaks FCC rules.

Project Kuiper, set up in 2019, is yet to launch its first satellites and is seen as several years behind Starlink. Blue Origin has also lost out on several Nasa contracts to SpaceX. Mr Musk has argued that Amazon and Blue Origin’s protests are anticompetitive.

Mr Musk has joked that Mr Bezos, who recently stepped down as Amazon’s chief executive, "retired in order to pursue a full-time job filing lawsuits against SpaceX".

Starlink and Project Kuiper both plan to use satellites to provide broadband to areas poorly served by fixed-line connections. Starlink recently said it had shipped 100,000 terminals to customers, while Amazon has not set a launch date for its service.