Elon Musk’s antics may finally be catching up with him

New York (CNN Business) Elon Musk’s impressive expertise — a combination of wealth, carefully cultivated charm and the top lawyers who helped him escape countless scandals — is beginning to unravel.

Here’s the thing: SpaceX, Musk’s private space tourism company, will no longer receive a nearly $900 million grant it received last year, federal regulators said, because the company “failed to demonstrate it can deliver the Internet service you promised.”

Go through sections:

  • In December, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) awarded $9 billion in subsidies to Internet service providers as part of a plan to bring high-speed Internet to rural areas in need.
  • It was controversial that SpaceX received the largest amount from the grant program because the Starlink network was essentially new and untested.
  • Starlink’s system is very different from traditional high-speed Internet, which relies on underground fiber optic cables. Starlink relies on thousands of satellites to transmit Internet access to the ground.
  • The FCC is betting that Starlink will be ready soon.

The gamble appears to have backfired as the FCC withdrew subsidies saying the Starlink service was “still developing technology” and its speeds had slowed. My colleague Jackie Wattles reports.

SpaceX did not respond to a request for comment, which is often the case with companies run by Musk.

Santiago Siri: Elon Musk is one of the Caesars of our time 1:15

Big picture

Part of Elon Musk’s whole unique-vision-mega-millionaire persona (believe it or not) is that he runs several companies with big ambitions, like colonizing Mars in the case of SpaceX.

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Despite his shenanigans — over-promising, trolling tweets, reckless corporate raids, even calling one of his kids X Æ A-12 — you have to admire his bravery.

But now it looks like Musk’s misbehavior may finally be catching up with him.

In recent days, Musk has sold $7 billion worth of Tesla stock after losing his legal battle with Twitter, forcing him to buy a company he no longer wants to buy. At the same time, California authorities filed a complaint arguing that Tesla lied in advertisements about its Autopilot and fully self-driving technology (despite their names, not fully autonomous).

In June, when several SpaceX employees signed a letter criticizing Musk’s behavior, Removed by the company At least five of those involved. A month later, a large SpaceX rocket prototype exploded during launch. Musk’s response on Twitter?

“Yeah, it’s really not good.”

The same can be said for Kasturi.

Eden Hayes

"Wannabe gamer. Subtly charming beer buff. General pop culture trailblazer. Incurable thinker. Certified analyst."

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