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Washington Post officially sold to Amazon's Bezos for quarter of a Tumblr

80-year-old paper that broke Watergate scandal snapped up with kingpin's pocket change

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

Amazon founder Jeff Bezos last night completed his bargain-basement takeover of the Washington Post, which he bought for $250m in cash.

When the buyout plan was announced in August, 49-year-old billionaire Bezos said of the bold move: "This will be uncharted terrain and it will require experimentation."

While other internet moneybags shell out millions - or even billions - of dollars on profit-hungry Web2.0 properties such as Instagram and Tumblr, Bezos has taken on his own risk by injecting cash into a faded media starlet.

The acquisition brought to an end an 80-year-long family business: the organ's boss Donald Graham ceded control of the paper to Bezos after declaring the Amazon supremo a good "steward" for the publication.

WaPo clearly needed help. It lost £39m in 2012 and sales have nearly halved over the past six years.

Little has been shared about Bezos's plans for the Post, its affiliated publications, and the 2,000 employees working for the company.

But he will immediately bring in a "financial cushion", the newspaper said as it announced the deal had closed on Tuesday.

It added that the paper will now have "time to conduct experiments that could lead to a successful business model" under the guidance of Bezos, who founded online retail giant Amazon.com in 1994 - two years before the Post began publishing its articles online. ®

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