Intelsat, OneWeb and Softbank Group Feud!

Courtesy: OneWeb

Just days after when OneWeb and Iridium announced their partnership, a great blow came from Intelsat when they accused OneWeb and Softbank Group of fraud, conspiracy and breach of contract.

“Upon information and belief, SoftBank and OneWeb intentionally and knowingly made or caused to be made materially false statements and/or omissions in their communications with Intelsat and/or its agents with the intent to defraud Intelsat,” read the court document after a lawsuit was filed in New York Supreme Court on 10th of September.

Further the court note said “SoftBank and OneWeb represented to and/or assured Intelsat that it was negotiating the MSA in good faith with the intent to reach an agreement. 89. Upon information and belief, these representations and assurances were false and/or misleading. Upon further information and belief, while Intelsat engaged in negotiations in good faith over a period of several months, OneWeb had already internally planned in secret to renege on the Amended SCA and begin competing with Intelsat in the Intelsat Exclusivity Markets. Unbeknownst to Intelsat, at the time that SoftBank and OneWeb were negotiating and eliciting confidential and proprietary information from Intelsat relative to the Intelsat Exclusivity Markets (including confidential forecasts, business cases, marketing strategies, pricing and capacity requirements) OneWeb was planning to treat the Amended SCA as terminated and of no continuing effect and compete directly with Intelsat.”

The lawsuit follows a failed attempt for Intelsat & OneWeb merger attempts that initiated in February 2017. Intelsat and Softbank Group also reached a share purchase agreement in which Softbank would buy voting and non-voting shares in the combined company $1.7 billion in cash and take 39.9% stake in voting. The merger was later dissolved in an agreement made in June of 2017.

2019 has been going good so far for OneWeb, they successfully launched their first constellation with 21 satellites aboard Arianespace. Also OneWeb raised a whooping $1.25 billion in investment during a funding round earlier this year, raising total funding to $3.4 billion. The situation is still not clear and no side has yet commented on the law suit. Most probably the case will be settled behind closed doors and a deal will be reached.


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