Feeds

Amazon's Bezos investigated by Feds

Another stock-chucking coincidence

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Build a business case: developing custom apps

The US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is casting a jaundiced eye on stock sales executed by Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos shortly after receiving advance copies of a negative financial report, the New York Times reported Friday.

However, the Commission will neither confirm nor deny that an investigation is underway, according to follow-up reports by the wire services.

Amazon spokesman Bill Curry said that if there is an investigation, the company sure wasn't aware of it. "If there proves to be one we're certainly going to be happy to help in any way we can," he is quoted as saying.

Bezos filed notice on 2 and 5 February stating his intent to sell 800,000 shares of Amazon stock worth approximately $12 million. The company has confirmed that the sale was consummated.

The sticky bit comes from a report by financial shamanists Lehman Brothers, expressing doubts that the company has enough money to operate for the rest of the year, which Amazon executives received prior to publication and of course prior to Bezos' sale.

Curry confirmed that Amazon execs got advance copies of the report, but rather than panic and start chucking shares, attempted instead to convince Lehman Brothers that they'd got things wrong.

Playing fast an loose with financial information is nothing new at Amazon. Indeed, company execs have repeatedly ducked requests for hard data to back up their perennially rosy assessments of the company's prospects.

In a Sunday article, New York Times columnist Gretchen Morgenson decries the "blather masquerading as financial information" issuing from Amazon's 'investor relations' flack division, which she compares to a Tower of Babel.

Her take on the attempt to persuade Lehman Brothers that their report was less than accurate is refreshingly cynical. "John Doerr, a prominent venture capitalist and Amazon director, called Lehman's chairman to try to suppress [the] report before it came out," she writes.

Seems the NYT is finally catching on to the hype. One would almost think they've begun reading The Register. ®

Related Link

The Morgenson article

Build a business case: developing custom apps

More from The Register

next story
iPad? More like iFAD: We reveal why Apple fell into IBM's arms
But never fear fanbois, you're still lapping up iPhones, Macs
Amazon says Hachette should lower ebook prices, pay authors more
Oh yeah ... and a 30% cut for Amazon to seal the deal
Philip K Dick 'Nazi alternate reality' story to be made into TV series
Amazon Studios, Ridley Scott firm to produce The Man in the High Castle
Nintend-OH NO! Sorry, Mario – your profits are in another castle
Red-hatted mascot, red-colored logo, red-stained finance books
Sonos AXES support for Apple's iOS4 and 5
Want to use your iThing? You can't - it's too old
Joe Average isn't worth $10 a year to Mark Zuckerberg
The Social Network deflates the PC resurgence with mobile-only usage prediction
Chips are down at Broadcom: Thousands of workers laid off
Cellphone baseband device biz shuttered
Feel free to BONK on the TUBE, says Transport for London
Plus: Almost NOBODY uses pay-by-bonk on buses - Visa
Twitch rich as Google flicks $1bn hitch switch, claims snitch
Gameplay streaming biz and search king refuse to deny fresh gobble rumors
Stick a 4K in them: Super high-res TVs are DONE
4,000 pixels is niche now... Don't say we didn't warn you
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
The Essential Guide to IT Transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIO's automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise.
Maximize storage efficiency across the enterprise
The HP StoreOnce backup solution offers highly flexible, centrally managed, and highly efficient data protection for any enterprise.