Jeff Bezos buys The Washington Post. What does that mean for Amazon?
Jeff Bezos has stated that 'the values of The Post do not need changing.' But how will the move affect Amazon?
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As pointed out by independent bookstore newsletter Shelf Awareness, the fact that Bezos will own the premier newspaper of the nation’s capital is a little worrying for other booksellers, especially considering Amazon’s recent relationship with the government.Skip to next paragraph
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“The major concern is that the purchase gives Bezos and Amazon much more influence in Washington than he already has, considering that the Justice Department has made life much easier for Amazon with the e-book agency model price collusion case and that President Obama last week began touting Amazon as a leader in creating good jobs and expanding the economy,” the staff wrote in a column. “All we can say is that for the people who have called us paranoid about Amazon's plans for world domination, we rest our case – nervously.”
New Yorker writer Matt Buchanan agreed that Amazon can only benefit from this move.
“Amazon could stand to gain from its C.E.O. owning one of the powerful and vocal institutions in Washington, D.C., given the company’s entanglements with legislation regarding the collection of sales tax, for instance, and the recent antitrust case pursued against its rival in the e-book business, Apple, by the Department of Justice,” he wrote. “And it would do well for one of the nation’s most respected papers to ignore or play down allegations of brutal work conditions at Amazon’s warehouses, where overtime can be mandatory, productivity rates approach unsustainability for many workers, and temperatures in the summer can reach a hundred degrees.”
Meanwhile, Business Insider writer Henry Blodget suggested that Amazon’s ongoing efforts to produce original content could dovetail with Bezos's ownership of the Post.
“Amazon distributes massive amounts of print and digital content,” he wrote. “The content the Washington Post publishes and distributes could be bundled or distributed with that content. And, similarly, the content that Amazon produces – mainly commerce-related, but increasingly media – could be integrated with the Washington Post's content, offering more choices for customers and consumers.... Subscribers to Amazon's 'Prime' delivery service already get to watch free movies and TV shows. Amazon Kindle buyers already have access to free books. It's easy to imagine that Prime subscribers and Kindle buyers will soon have convenient, free access to the Washington Post – and that this access might make a Prime subscription or Kindle ownership more valuable. Washington Post reporters, meanwhile, could produce an endless supply of ebooks and Kindle Singles.”
All of which could be good news for both the Post and for Amazon. But for the rest of us?
Fasten your seatbelt and stay tuned.