Amazon Founder Jeff Bezos Explains His $250 Million Purchase of The Washington Post

Paul Lilly

The Washington Post changes hands

First off, 'Wow!' That's the only appropriate reaction to what just went down, which is an agreement between Jeff Bezos to acquire The Washington Post for $250 million. As the founder and chief of Amazon , and subsequently one of the richest men in the world (19th, to be exact), Bezos can certainly afford the transaction, the question is what does he want with it? Furthermore, what does he plan to do with his new acquisition?

Bezos addressed those questions in an open letter to employees of The Washington Post , ensuring them that the values of the newspaper will not change, and that it'll continue to work hard to not make mistakes, yet own up to them when/if they do happen. He also told employees he won't be their daily figurehead.

"I won’t be leading The Washington Post day-to-day. I am happily living in 'the other Washington' where I have a day job that I love," Bezos stated in his letter. "Besides that, The Post already has an excellent leadership team that knows much more about the news business than I do, and I’m extremely grateful to them for agreeing to stay on."

That doesn't mean there won't be change. On the contrary, Bezos flat out said there would be, citing a need to "invent" and "experiment." What exactly all that entails isn't yet known, but give it a few months and we should have a better idea of which direction the newspaper is going.

One thing that's interesting is that the acquisition was made by Bezos and not Amazon. A person could speculate all day along about what Amazon would want with a major newspaper, especially with Amazon taking on political issues like online taxation. This isn't about Amazon, however, at least not directly, though we're sure the online retailer and its investors don't mind one bit that Bezos is the new owner.

Follow Paul on Google+ , Twitter , and Facebook

Around the web