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Business News/ Companies / People/  Why Jeff Bezos sold Amazon shares worth $6 billion this week? Internet has some funny reasons
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Why Jeff Bezos sold Amazon shares worth $6 billion this week? Internet has some funny reasons

Jeff Bezos sells over $6 billion worth of Amazon shares in a week, with his fortune surging to $199.5 billion. His move has led to wild speculations and memes on social media. We take a look

File image of Jeff Bezos, founder-chairman of Amazon.com, at a conference in New York, US (Photographer: Jonathan Fickies/Bloomberg News)Premium
File image of Jeff Bezos, founder-chairman of Amazon.com, at a conference in New York, US (Photographer: Jonathan Fickies/Bloomberg News)

Jeff Bezos, the founder of Amazon, on February 14 sold 24 million shares of the company, generating a substantial sum of over $4 billion. This marks the first instance of Bezos selling Amazon shares since 2021, according to Bloomberg. The move follows his announcement of intending to sell up to 50 million shares over the next year, of which nearly half were sold in just four days.

Relocation and Potential Tax Savings

The motive behind Bezos' decision to sell Amazon shares remains undisclosed. However, his earlier decision to relocate from the Seattle area to Miami has raised eyebrows. Florida, known for not imposing a capital gains tax, stands in contrast to Washington state, which introduced a 7 percent tax on such earnings in 2022. This strategic relocation could potentially save Bezos around $288 million in taxes.

Despite the significant financial transactions, both Amazon and Jeff Bezos have refrained from commenting on the issue, the Bloomberg report added. The implications of Bezos' actions extend beyond his personal finances, potentially affecting Washington state's revenue from the capital gains tax.

On February 16, Jeff Bezos continued to offload Amazon shares, selling another 12 million valued at $2 billion. This brings the total sold in the past week to more than $6 billion. The sales are part of Bezos' previously disclosed plan to dispose of up to 50 million shares, with a total of approximately 36 million shares sold so far.

Bezos' Fortune Surges to $199.5 Billion, Ranking Among World's Richest

Despite the ongoing sales, Bezos has not explained his divestment. His decision to institute the trading plan aligns with Amazon's disclosure on February 2, revealing his intention to sell up to 50 million shares over the next 12 months. Bezos' fortune has notably increased by $22.6 billion this year, reaching $199.5 billion, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.

Forbes estimates Bezos' fortune at $195.5 billion, securing his position as the third richest individual globally, trailing behind Bernard Arnault and Elon Musk. Bezos has a history of selling Amazon shares, having offloaded over $30 billion since 2002, with substantial transactions occurring in 2020 and 2021. Additionally, he has been actively gifting shares, including a donation of approximately $230 million to nonprofit organizations in November.

Here's how the internet responded

(With inputs from Bloomberg)

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Published: 17 Feb 2024, 10:51 AM IST
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