Jeff Bezos buys The Washington Post for $250 million in cash

Some big (and surprising) news in the media industry today: The Washington Post has just confirmed that it and its affiliated publications have been acquired by Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos for $250 million in cash. The paper notes that Amazon itself "will have no role in the purchase," and that Bezos "will buy the news organization and become its sole owner when the sale is completed, probably within 60 days." It also goes on to explain that the existing Washington Post Company, which owns a number of other businesses (including Slate), "will change to a new, still-undecided name and continue as a publicly traded company without The Post thereafter."

In an interview with the paper, the Post Co.'s chief executive, Donald Graham, says that "The Post could have survived under the company's ownership and been profitable for the foreseeable future. But we wanted to do more than survive," adding, "I'm not saying this guarantees success but it gives us a much greater chance of success." In a letter to Post employees, Bezos, who was apparently one of several suitors considered by the company, says that he "won't be leading The Washington Post day-to-day," but that "there will of course be change at The Post over the coming years," and that "we will need to invent, which means we will need to experiment."

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Via: @Romenesko (Twitter)

Source: The Washington Post (1), (2)

Jeff Bezos to open Center for Innovation this fall, aims to inspire young would-be entrepreneurs

Bezos Center for Innovation to open this fall

What's an e-commerce tycoon to do after funding everything from nuclear fusion startups to commercial spaceflight ventures? Why, help develop a museum exhibit to inspire young folks and teach them about innovation, of course. After more than two years of development and $10 million from Jeff Bezos' own pockets, the Museum of History and Industry will open the doors to the Bezos Center for Innovation on October 12th. Not only does the center aim to help visitors learn about "the importance of innovation" through interactive exhibits, but it will toot Seattle's horn for being "the birthplace of so many trailblazing companies." If you can't make it to The Emerald City, we're sure Bezos has a few learning alternatives in mind.

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Source: Museum of History and Industry

Amazon wins patent for airbag system designed to protect portable devices

As avid patent-watchers may recall, an application for a rather unusual contraption from Amazon surfaced last summer -- one that detailed an airbag system designed to protect portable devices from falls, with none other than Jeff Bezos himself listed as one of the two inventors. Now, it's no longer just an application, as the USPTO officially has granted the patent to Amazon today. Of course, that still means it's likely a long ways from finding its way into an actual Amazon product (if it ever does), but don't be too surprised if your future Kindle Fire 4K XL 5G one day saves itself from an imminent demise.

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Source: USPTO