Maxar concessions to EchoStar for Jupiter 3 delay show limit of “force majeure” as a contractor defense

by Peter B. de Selding

PARIS — The extraordinary settlement reached between satellite builder Maxar Technologies and EchoStar Corp.’s Hughes Network Systems for delays on the Jupiter-3 broadband satellite appears to show the limits of contractors’ force majeure defenses and suggests that the power balance between customer and supplier isn’t what it seemed.

That EchoStar could threaten — with at least some credibility judging form the settlement — to walk away from a contract that is crucial to its mid-term financial performance may be a lesson for other satellite . . .

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