Zoox is an automotive vehicle company situated in Foster City, California with multiple offices of operations throughout the San Francisco Bay Area. Founded in 2014. Their main target is robo-taxi market. The company’s approach is centred around the fact that a retrofitted vehicle is not optimized for autonomy. They are currently applying the latest techniques in automotive, robotics and renewable energy to build a symmetrical, bi-directional battery-electric vehicle that solves for the unique challenges of autonomous mobility.
On March 20, 2019, which is last year. Tesla Inc. filed a lawsuit against Zoox and several now-former Tesla employees alleging theft of Tesla’s proprietary information and trade secrets related to warehousing, shipping, and logistics in late 2018 and early 2019.
On June 26, 2020, Amazon and Zoox, both signed a “definitive merger agreement” under which Amazon will acquire Zoox. The deal could drive Amazon into an entirely new business: transportation of people.
This deal makes Amazon which is already fastest growing company in online shopping and bookseller, a competition for Google’s self-driving tech called Waymo, and GM’s Cruise auto-vehicle unit.
Jeffrey Preston Bezos is an American internet entrepreneur, industrialist, media proprietor, and investor. He is best known as the founder, CEO, and president of the multi-national technology company Amazon. The first centi-billionaire on the Forbes wealth index, Bezos has been the world’s richest person since 2017 and was known as the “richest man in modern history” after his net worth increased to $150 billion in July 2018.
Elon Musk is an engineer, industrial designer, technology entrepreneur and philanthropist. He is the founder and CEO of SpaceX; CEO and product architect of Tesla Inc. In December 2016, he was ranked 21st on the on the Forbes list of The World’s Most Powerful People.
Elon Musk’s Tweet
Tesla CEO Elon Musk has called Amazon Founder and CEO Jeff Bezos a “copycat” by using a yellow cat emoji instead of the word ‘cat’ after the e-commerce giant announced to purchase a self-driving car company Zoox pegged at over $1 billion.
Tesla’s break from Amazon
Also on June 5 2020, “This is insane”, Musk said, tagging the Amazon CEO. “Time to break up Amazon. Monopolies are wrong!”. Musk added in a second tweet aiming at Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos and former New York Times reporter Alex Berenson. Musk does not have legal authority to break up with Amazon.
The retailer (here Amazon) had no comment on Musk’s call for its dissolution but said the book in question, by author Alex Berenson, had been blocked in error and was now available for sale via its Kindle e-reading service. The decision to green-light the book’s sale was not due to Musk, Amazon said.
An email to Berenson, purportedly from Amazon’s Kindle publishing unit, stated that the book didn’t comply with the company’s guidelines. It didn’t state a reason but suggested it related to Amazon’s policies on information about the coronavirus pandemic.
Musk said the decision to block the book was “insane”.
However, following Musk’s tweets, Amazon decided to allow the book to be sold on the site. Berenson posted another email from an Amazon official stating, “We have now published your book and it should be available on the website in the next few hours”.
Amazon told Reuters Berenson’s book was blocked in error.
Among other things, the book questions whether lockdowns and wearing masks help reduce the spread of the coronavirus, as well as what Berenson says is the media’s “panicked reporting” of the pandemic. He’s also critical of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reporting on infections and deaths due to COVID-19.
While Amazon doesn’t compete with Tesla or SpaceX directly, Musk and Bezos are longtime foes in the space industry. Bezos has Blue Origin and Project Kuiper, Bezos’ satellite broadband rival to SpaceX’s Starlink service, which Musk has said will reach a public beta as early as August.
But only Bezos’ company, Amazon, has been the subject of big tech antitrust probes by the Federal Trade Commission and DoJ (Department of Justice). Republican Senator Josh Hawley in April called on the DoJ to open a criminal antitrust investigation into Amazon due to alleged predatory practices.
Both companies have come under fire over their handling of restrictions throughout the pandemic. Tim Bray, a VP and distinguished engineer at Amazon’s highly profitable cloud business Amazon Web Services (AWS), quit his high-paying role in May because Amazon fired several employees who had publicly criticized conditions for workers at Amazon’s distribution centers.
The Tesla chief, who earlier this month said he would take a break from Twitter, has a history of being outspoken on the social media platform. A tweet in 2018 that he had secured funding to take Tesla private led to a lawsuit against Musk by the US Securities and Exchange Commission, which the parties later settled. Musk has lashed out about shelter-at-home restrictions to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus as well.
Looking at such tweets concludes that Tesla is about to cut ties with Amazon in the exclusive possession or control of the supply of or trade with Amazon.