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Musk Has a New Line of Attack Against Archrival Bezos (With a Z)

Two billionaires -- Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos -- clash on several fronts, and according to Musk, there is no love lost between the two.
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It's a rivalry the way Hollywood likes it: the richest man in the world against the second richest man in the world who was formerly the richest man in the world. 

Elon Musk versus Jeff Bezos. Tesla  (TSLA) - Get Free Report versus Amazon  (AMZN) - Get Free Report. But especially SpaceX versus Blue Origin.

The two executives do share a common passion: space. They both aspire to make the moon and Mars habitable. But it is this shared will that crystallizes the rivalry between the two tycoons. They have been clashing in court.

Blue Origin and Dynetics of Huntsville, Ala., last year filed a protest with the U.S. Government Accountability Office after NASA awarded a $2.9 billion lunar landing system contract to SpaceX. That's the rocket and space tech company Musk started up in 2002.

The companies asserted that NASA was required to make multiple awards consistent with its broad announcement that stated a preference for multiple awards.

NASA had planned to hire two companies for the project but decided to award just one after receiving insufficient financing from Congress, according to the New York Times.

A Fierce Rivalry

Blue Origin filed a lawsuit against NASA in the U.S. Court of Federal Claims, alleging unlawful and improper evaluation of its proposal for a human landing system program. 

NASA last August temporarily halted work on the SpaceX project after Blue Origin filed the lawsuit. U.S. Judge Richard Hertling dismissed the case in November.

This legal offensive was very badly received by Musk, who did not hesitate to let it be known.

“I think I’ve expressed my thoughts on that front — I think he should put more of his energy into getting to orbit, [rather] than lawsuits,” Musk fired back last September at the CodeCon 2021 conference in Beverly Hills, Calif.

“You cannot sue your way to the moon, no matter how good your lawyers are,” Musk added.

Now, one could think that NASA's announcement last week that it planned a second commercial project to develop a moon landing system to carry astronauts to and from the lunar surface could ease the tensions between the two moguls.

Well, the Tesla billionaire has just added fuel to the fire. 

Bezos or Besos?

Creating a showdown with The Washington Post, whose owner is Jeff Bezos, Musk did not hesitate to mock his great rival. And these criticisms hit where it can truly hurt: Bezos's lifestyle. 

"The Washington Post should change its tagline to 'democracy dies behind our paywall," Musk said he told the newspaper, which requested comment from him about a story about Tesla and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. 

"If you're so concerned about democracy, stop forcing people to pay for (allegedly) important news! Your boss Besos can certainly afford it, even after buying a support yacht for his yacht. - Elon Musk."

What's also noteworthy is that Musk spelled the name Bezos with an S instead of the Z. It's hard to imagine that Musk doesn't know the spelling of his rival's name. The two moguls share the poster of innovation and especially the ranking of the biggest fortunes. A deliberate provocation? Maybe. 

In February, Bezos's luxurious yacht made headlines around the world.

The mayor of Rotterdam, the Netherlands, has indicated that a historic bridge in the city will be temporarily dismantled to enable the passage of a gigantic yacht built for the billionaire.

The shipbuilder asked the municipality to temporarily dismantle the bridge, removing the central section, so the ship could pass under it. The iconic bridge dates from 1878 and was repaired after it had been bombed in 1940 during World War II.

Bezos’s boat, now called Y721, is being built in the neighboring city of Alblasserdam. It needs to pass through Rotterdam to make it to the North Sea or English Channel, but it’s too tall for the Koningshaven Bridge.

Musk's personal fortune is estimated at $275 billion as of March 28, while Bezos's is valued at $194 billion, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.