Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos offloaded approximately 960,000 shares of Amazon stock, each worth around $1,900.00 according to the most recent company regulatory filings. CNN Business reported that Bezos typically sells $1 Billion in stock annually to help fund his space venture, Blue Origin:
“Bezos has lofty expectations for Blue Origin. He unveiled a new rocket engine and a mockup of a lunar lander to use for shuttle cargo in May. He also said he wants to build giant orbital structures that could host self-sustaining colonies. It’s also close to selling tickets to send people to space.” – CNN Business
However it was also recently reported that the lucrative $10 Billion Pentagon cloud computing contract that Amazon scored is coming under scrutiny and review, according to Zero Hedge:
“The Pentagon’s $10 billion Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure (JEDI) cloud-computing contract is under review according to Bloomberg, following instructions from the new Defense Secretary Mark Esper after President Trump endorsed criticism that Amazon.com Inc. is being given an unfair advantage for the contract.
Esper, who took over as Pentagon chief last week, is looking at the contract and “no decision will be made on the program until he has completed his examination,” Elissa Smith, a Defense Department spokeswoman, said in a statement Thursday.
Following a July 10th report from the WSJ which exposed extensive conflicts of interest involving Amazon and the Pentagon, and validated skeptics – such as this site – who claimed that Bezos had muscled his way into one of the most lucrative government contracts in years thanks to kickbacks, Trump stunned tech companies, the Defense Department and lawmakers this month when he openly questioned whether the pending contract is being competitively bid. He said he’d heard complaints from companies such as Microsoft Corp., the No. 2 contender, and Oracle Corp., which was eliminated from the competition earlier this year.
Both have correctly argued that the terms favored Amazon, whose founder, Jeff Bezos, is one of the president’s longtime nemeses.
The project, which had been championed by former Defense Secretary Jim Mattis, was never supposed to be this controversial, and had a simple goal – to bring the Pentagon’s technology into the modern era. Instead it ended up a feeding frenzy for cloud companies. Despite criticism, the Defense Department maintained that the system would work best if a single company created a single data repository for use from generals at the Pentagon to warfighters in the field. In retrospect, that was a terrible decision.
“I’ve heard from everybody” about the cloud contract, “and that’s one of the things I want to take a hard look at,” Esper told reporters on July 24. A number of lawmakers raised questions about the contract even before Trump weighed in.” – Zero Hedge
One has to wonder if perhaps Jeff Bezos is getting a little concerned about his business practices coming under review. Amazon itself is facing a potential anti-trust investigation in the EU according to the Verge:
“European regulators are taking a preliminary look at Amazon’s third-party data collection practices as part of an early antitrust probe, European Union officials disclosed today.”
Margrethe Vestager, the head of the EU’s competition bureau, said during a press conference that the EU has been “gathering information” on how the company uses data from sellers on its third-party marketplace. Regulators want to know whether that data could give Amazon an edge over competitors by providing insight into consumer behavior.
“If you, as Amazon, get the data from the smaller merchants that you host, which can be of course completely legitimate because you can improve your service to these smaller merchants, do you then also use this data to do your own calculations?” Vestager said. “What is the new big thing? What is it that people want? What kind of offers do they like to receive? What makes them buy things?” – The Verge
While its still reported in the mainstream press that Bezos is the world’s richest man, I don’t think that accounts for all those families whose true wealth is hidden in offshore accounts and behind multiple layers of front-men and shell companies to obscure it. For the longest time, guys like Jeff Bezos have gotten away with manipulating the marketplace. By cornering critical supply chain areas to dominate and monopolize, they then go about targeting and destroying their competition. While their presumed handlers in the U.S. Intelligence Community run along behind the silicon valley tyrants like nannies, trying to clean up and hide the mess they have made and the lives they have destroyed along the way.
Meanwhile according to Yahoo Finance, “Amazon will pay $0.00 in taxes on $11,200,000,000 in profit for 2018.”
While Jeff Bezos funnels money into various space projects at his own whim, its worth pausing to consider the devastation to the U.S. small business community that massive corporations like Amazon have nearly obliterated in the name of efficiency and profit.