Amazon’s Bezos Bets $250M on Washington Pos

Posted by Bloomberg/Marketwatch

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Amazon.com Inc. (AMZN) Chief Executive Officer Jeff Bezos agreed to buy the Washington Post (WPO) for $250 million in a bet that he can apply his success in e-commerce to the struggling newspaper industry.

 

Bezos is making the deal as an individual and not as part of Amazon, the world’s biggest online retailer, according to a statement yesterday. Current owner Washington Post Co., which isn’t selling its Kaplan education division and other businesses as part of the transaction, now plans to change its name.

In acquiring the publication, famed for its coverage of the 1970s-era Watergate scandal that led to the only resignation of a U.S. president, Bezos becomes the latest billionaire to try his hand at reviving the newspaper business. Boston Red Soxowner John Henry agreed to buy the Boston Globe last week, and Warren Buffett assembled an empire of community papers in recent years.

The existing company also will keep real-estate assets — including the headquarters in downtown Washington — and its interest in classified ventures, WaPo Labs and SocialCode businesses.

Warren Buffett’s Berkshire HathawayBRK.A +0.45% BRK.B +0.35%  holds about 28% of the Post, according to the latest data from FactSet.