Thu, Jul 19, 2018 - Page 10 News List

As Amazon hacks prices, Bezos sees jump in net worth

AFP, WASHINGTON

Amazon chief executive officer Jeff Bezos is pictured on Jan. 29.

Photo: AFP

As Amazon.com Inc marked its Prime Day with price cuts across a range of products, founder and chief executive officer Jeff Bezos saw his net worth hit new peaks, increasing his lead over fellow billionaires.

Bezos’ net worth topped US$150 billion on Monday, the Bloomberg Billionaires Index showed, making him the world’s richest person in decades.

The surge in the share price of Amazon — in which Bezos holds a stake of about 16 percent — has lifted his wealth by about US$50 billion this year.

Bezos has moved into a wealth category all by himself, far ahead of Microsoft Corp founder Bill Gates, worth an estimated US$95 billion, the Bloomberg ranking showed.

Gates saw his net worth briefly hit US$100 billion in 1999, but since then Bezos appears to be the only person to top that milestone.

Historically, Bezos still trails other wealthy individuals such as oil magnate John D. Rockefeller and steel baron Andrew Carnegie, whose inflation-adjusted net worth would be more than US$300 billion.

Yet his rise has been nothing less than spectacular since 2014 when his fortune was estimated at about US$32 billion.

Amazon’s market capitalization his risen to nearly US$880 billion in recent weeks, ahead of that of Google parent Alphabet Inc, but behind Apple Inc.

This week, Amazon marked its Prime Day, a 36-hour period with special discounts for its Prime subscribers, in several countries, touting “more than one million deals worldwide.”

Amazon acknowledged some glitches with the sales day, saying some customers were unable to complete their orders. Still, the company said the day had ran more smoothly than last year.

Bezos, 54, also owns the private space exploration firm Blue Origin and purchased the Washington Post in 2013.

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