One of the benefits of running a conglomerate as diversified as Amazon is that you don’t need to change your name to change the conversation. No matter how bad the news, there’s always something else coming from some other territory in the corporate empire. On Monday, just a couple of days after delivering some bleak news about rising costs and falling profits in its retail business, Amazon announced it has asked for government approval to launch two satellites next year. If approved, the launch would help Amazon test the technology for its long-planned satellite internet service, Project Kuiper.
While the news generated some upbeat headlines, it also puts the spotlight back on the question of why Amazon is investing in this venture in the first place. Jeff Bezos has his own rocket-ship company, Blue Origin. Its focus is on building reusable rockets that can be used for human space flight as well as businesses and the government, sure. But Elon Musk’s rival rocket company, SpaceX, has an internet satellite business within it.