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And then he did, and we quickly reached a deal.” Allen’s representatives spoke with a half-dozen potential suitors before The Post Co.’s board settled on Bezos, a legendary tech innovator who has never operated a newspaper.
Bezos, in an interview, called The Post “an important institution” and expressed optimism about its future.
Bezos, whose entrepreneurship has made him one of the world’s richest men, will pay 0 million in cash for The Post and affiliated publications to The Washington Post Co., which owns the newspaper and other businesses.
Seattle-based Amazon will have no role in the purchase; Bezos himself will buy the news organization and become its sole owner when the sale is completed, probably within 60 days. will get a new, still undecided name and continue as a publicly traded company without the newspaper.
He called his creation Amazon in part to convey the breadth of its offerings; early promotions called the site “Earth’s Biggest Bookstore.” Since Amazon’s founding, Bezos has devoted himself to building it into a retail behemoth that sells everything from diapers to garden equipment to data storage at low prices with a click of a mouse. In the process, Amazon has wreaked havoc on traditional brick-and-mortar stores.
Many retailers have expressed dismay and resentment at Amazon’s ability to sell the same products at a lower price, in part because of its efficiency but also because it was not collecting sales tax in most states.
No layoffs among the paper’s 2,000 employees are contemplated as a result of the transaction, Bezos and Graham said.
“But when the idea of a transaction with Jeff Bezos came up, it altered my feelings.” He added: “The Post could have survived under the company’s ownership and been profitable for the foreseeable future. I’m not saying this guarantees success, but it gives us a much greater chance of success.” Bezos, 49, will take the company private, meaning he will not have to report quarterly earnings to shareholders or be subjected to investors’ demands for ever-rising profits, as the publicly traded Washington Post Co. As such, he will be able to experiment with the paper without the pressure of showing an immediate return on any investment.