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Amazon.com Inc. Chief Executive Officer Jeff Bezos agreed to buy the Washington Post for $250 million from Washington Post Co., vaulting the e-commerce magnate into the struggling newspaper industry.
Bezos is making the deal as an individual and not as part of Amazon.com, the world’s biggest online retailer, according to a statement today. The payment, subject to normal working capital adjusts, will be made later this year.
In acquiring the publication, Bezos becomes the latest billionaire to try his hand at reviving the newspaper business. Boston Red Sox owner John Henry agreed to buy the Boston Globe last week, and Warren Buffett has assembled an empire of community papers in recent years.
“I understand the critical role the Post plays in Washington, D.C., and our nation, and the Post’s values will not change,” Bezos said in the statement. “Our duty to readers will continue to be the heart of the Post, and I am very optimistic about the future.”
Washington Post Co., which also owns Kaplan, Post–Newsweek Stations and Cable ONE, will be changing its name, according to the statement. A new name hasn’t been announced yet.
Bezos, 49, has a net worth of $28.2 billion, making him No. 15 on the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, according to data compiled as of Aug. 2. He ranks above Google Inc. co-founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin, as well as Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer and Dell Inc. founder Michael Dell, the data show.