Why Amazon

Jeff Bezos, founder of Amazon, will acquire the renowned newspaper on the East Coast of the United States. What are their motivations?

What got Jeff Bezos? The founding president of Amazon, the world's leading online edition, will buy more shares of The Washington Post Company, it was learned Tuesday, August 6. The billionaire, whose fortune is estimated at nearly $ 19 billion, pays 189 million of his own money to buy the daily activity of the group, whose sales fell 7% last year. More generally, the press has had a decade of stagnation and unprecedented known closures daily in shambles. What can be the motivations of the entrepreneur? For the moment, no certainty. But here the main assumptions.

Philanthropy, to save a sector in crisis but "crucial for the free world"?

The contractor has taken the press sector pity? In 2012, he declared : "There is one thing I am sure: there will be more than twenty years in newsprint May. be as well some luxury hotels offer their customers want this extravagant service. But the clipboard is not the norm in twenty years. " For seven years, the "Washington Post" lost a lot of money. In 2012, newspaper advertising revenues fell by 12%.

The owner of the family group, very attached to the title, trusts Jeff Bezos. Having invested heavily in digital, it had reached an impasse. "What could we do?" wondered a few months ago the CEO Donald Graham , which is then entered into discussions with Amazon's boss, his friend for 15 years. In announcing the sale, the CEO wrote: "Years of familiar problems in the newspaper industry have prompted us to ask if there could be another owner that is best for the Post."

Maybe Jeff Bezos wants he accompany the transition to digital takes an area it considers useful to society. "Journalism plays a crucial role in a free world," he also noted in his letter to the newspaper staff. After all, the "Washington Post" newspaper, which is revealed in 1974 with Watergate prompted President Richard Nixon to resign. But few observers believe that his action is limited to intellectual interests.

The "Washington Post", a nice lever of influence on the U.S. political elite?

Amazon's creator is not insensitive to the future of the world around him. He has financially supported several politicians. Two Democrats and one Republican in the State of Washington, in the north-western United States, but two Democrats in Michigan and Vermont. Two themes are particularly dear to him. He defends gay rights and is a purist of freedom of expression.

However, this is not the only reason that could push Jeff Bezos to influence the editorial content of the group titles. The man finds himself often pointed to by the press when it comes to criticizing Amazon, including working conditions, instead left to the unions, and more recently, the involvement of civil society in the program storage data CIA.

From there to pay a reputable journal? "This is the second most expensive thing that Jeff Bezos is paid with his own money, and I do not believe for a moment whether it is a toy for billionaire" refutes Katharine Weymouth, the Director of publication. It ensures that "Donald Graham would not have sold the newspaper to someone who does not share their values." As a token of good faith, Jeff Bezos has asked that the editor, editorial director and remain at their posts after the sale. Although he remained vague about his intentions, Jeff Bezos is likely to have thought about what it will do the media group.

Change the business model of "Wash Po" and earn money simply?

Buy $ 250 million to the Washington Post, while the Boston Globe, covering a similar area, has sold 70 million a week ago, is it a good investment? Again, hard to know what Jeff Bezos has in mind. It does not go through Amazon to buy the newspaper, in particular to avoid scaring investors who already support the logic of long term business. However, the two groups do not necessarily avoid all interactions.

Any common point between newspapers and online editor Two many interactions seem possible, according to Alan Mutter, a connoisseur of internet world : the site of the Post can serve commercial and advertising medium for Amazon, readers of the journal can provide information precious about their reading habits, his influence could help Amazon's publishing house to attract big names. The "Washington Post" has also started to produce videos that could be proposed via the rental service Amazon "Prime Instant" movies.

Especially, Jeff Bezos could make "Washington Post" the default home page of its Kindle reading light, which would increase the number of readers of the newspaper. Finally, it could drag a copy of the paper version sent to each book, activity in which Amazon is the most successful company. Will increase the incomes of both companies. Unless Jeff Bezos has something else in mind?

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