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Amazon CEO buys Washington Post for $250 million

News coverage in Fairfax County, and the rest of the world, got a shot in the arm when Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos purchased The Washington Post for $250 million. The whole field of business acquisition and mergers has changed in the Internet Age, as proven by Bezos buying the newspaper as an individual, not as a part of mega-retailer Amazon.com. The Post's current owner, Washington Post Co., will be changing its name as it moves forward with its remaining divisions but will still hold onto its remaining businesses, such as its Kaplan education operation.

Amazon's CEO pledged not to change the values of the prestigious newspaper, which changes hands from the Graham family for the first time since 1933. Publisher Katherine Graham was at the helm in 1973-74, when Post reporters Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein reported on the Watergate scandal, coverage that led to the only resignation of a US president. She also was in charge when the Post published The Pentagon Papers in 1971.

Bezos joins an elite club of newspaper-buying billionaires such as Warren Buffet and John Henry, owner of the Boston Red Sox, who recently agreed to buy The Boston Globe. The newspaper division purchased by Bezos was valued at $255.6 million, just $6 million more than he paid. This is estimated to be less than 10 percent of the value of The Washington Post Co.'s entire business. Advertising sales had slumped in recent years, leading the company to ask investment bank Allen & Co. to arrange a sale.

An attorney experienced in business law may be able to help companies with mergers and acquisitions, buy/sell agreements and expansion into new markets. Such a legal professional may also be of use negotiating government contracts, defense contracts and real estate transactions.

Source: Bloomberg, "Jeff Bezos Bets $250 Million on Reviving Washington Post", Nick Turner & Edmund Lee , August 06, 2013

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