Musk calls Bezos a 'copycat' after Amazon acquires self-driving startup Zoox
Online retailer Amazon's latest announcement on the acquisition of self-driving car startup Zoox in a deal estimated to be more than $1 billion has resulted in a 'cat fight' in the Silicon Valley. Tech entrepreneur and Tesla CEO Elon Musk has called Amazon Founder and CEO Jeff Bezos a 'copycat' in response to Amazon's acquisition of a company with the same interests as Tesla.
"@JeffBezos is a copy[cat] haha," Musk tweeted late Friday with a link to an article about Bezos' Zoox purchase.
.@JeffBezos is a copy ? haha https://t.co/plR7uupqBG— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) June 26, 2020
It is to be noted that Zoox settled a lawsuit with Tesla in April after admitting that some new employees it hired from Tesla possessed documents when they joined Zoox. Tesla had filed a lawsuit in March last year against four former employees and Zoox.
This is not the first Amazon investment in the automotive industry. Amazon has also invested in electric truckmaker Rivian and the self-driving startup Aurora.
While the deal could signal Amazon's foray into the business of transporting people, industry observers also think the company's main goal is to repurpose the Zoox technology and operations for its core business: delivering packages to shoppers. According to a report by Forbes, Zoox has been testing its self-driving technology in a fleet of modified Toyota SUVs in San Francisco and Las Vegas, and recently, it has made progress toward a commercial launch before live testing of its level 3 vehicles ground to a halt during the pandemic.
Meanwhile, this is the second time in a month that Musk has targeted Bezos. Earlier in the month, Musk had tweeted that it was "time to break up Amazon''. "Monopolies are wrong," he tweeted. Interestingly, Bezos and Musk's interests seem to overlap with the former also exploring the commercial space sector.
This isn’t the first time Musk has taken a dig at Bezos for indulging in similar business deals. He had previously called Bezos ‘a copycat’ when the latter’s rocket-launch startup Blue Origin was making plans for a satellite-based internet service giving competition to Musk’s firm in April 2019.
Last year, Musk mocked Bezos' moon plans."Makes no sense. In order to grow the colony, you''d have to transport vast amounts of mass from planets/moons/asteroids. Would be like trying to build the US in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean," Musk had tweeted.