SpaceX Challenges $6.9 Billion Takeover of British Satellite Firm

SpaceX is challenging the recent £5.5bn ($6.9 billion USD) acquisition of British satellite firm Inmarsat by American satellite service provider Viasat. Musk’s company has called on US regulators to revisit and potentially reverse their previous approval of the deal, reports The Telegraph.

SpaceX’s Starlink satellite internet has allegedly experienced interference caused by Viasat. This ongoing feud between the two corporations has sparked allegations on both sides.

In recent developments, SpaceX lodged a complaint with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). The firm claims the merger between Viasat and Inmarsat could be “contrary to the public interest” due to Viasat’s alleged “blatant disregard” for regulations. Furthermore, SpaceX contends the FCC overlooked their grievances during the initial assessment of the takeover.

Viasat retaliated by dismissing SpaceX’s claims as repetitive and unfounded. A Viasat spokesperson commented, “These are old arguments that have been tried and failed before… Our focus is on integrating Inmarsat’s assets… to offer the innovative new services our customers want.”

In previous interactions, Musk had taken a swipe at Viasat. In 2020, following Viasat’s reservations about Starlink’s potential space debris impact, Musk remarked that Starlink only threatens “Viasat’s profits.”

The acquisition of Inmarsat, which received clearance from both UK and US regulators, concluded in May. This merger is seen as an industry move to mitigate the rapid growth of SpaceX’s Starlink.

Viasat, based in California, is a key player in satellite broadband and in-flight Wi-Fi services, with a vast user base in remote locations. However, the company faced hurdles this year when two of its satellites experienced malfunctions post-launch. Industry insiders estimate the cost of these malfunctions to exceed $1bn, with potential insurance coverages for total losses.