Amidst divorce settlements, Amazon’s plans to create a broadband network in space emerged. Known internally as ‘Project Kuiper’, Amazon’s latest space plan (now hiring employees) is to launch 3,236 satellites to create a network to provide global high-speed internet. While Google is using balloons to provide Wi-Fi, Amazon’s plan is more robust (and more costly). Beyond giving those without good connectivity a reliable network to use, the move would also give Amazon new customers and data that it could exploit its numerous products through in a variety of ways. Aside from this, Amazon would become an internet provider which could be a step too far for regulators and the companies who are foaming at the mouth because of the move. Elon Musk is also launching a similar venture (called 'Starlink’) as has Facebook (through a collaboration), Boeing and Telesat (Canadian Operator) - no-one is happy being suckered to existing providers. Amazon did not provided any costs or timelines in filings but the FCC and other bodies will be watching this closely for a variety of reasons from consumer protection to antitrust.
Space wasn’t the only big news this week for Amazon as the company; demoted promotion of Amazon’s products (a swift move against regulation/further prying eyes), public FOIA requests will go to the company
(!) and directly challenged Apple’s new cash cow with its AirPod offering leaking. With Alexa built in, Amazon’s version of the popular earphones will likely be priced lower and disrupt Apple’s complete control of this market if the design is right.