American equity markets sighed in relief after details emerged of how Amazon.com Inc. founder Jeff Bezos and his former wife MacKenzie Bezos will divvy up their assets after their divorce.

Unless there’s a pre-nuptial agreement, US splits are usually half-half. Ms Bezos, though, declared herself “happy" to get only a quarter of their 16% stake in the e-commerce megacorp, and that too, with the voting rights of her shares ceded entirely to him. The arrangement lets him stay in control of the company he created.

Does this suggest an amicable parting? Generosity on her part? Or did she somehow get glared down by him?

It is probably none of the above. Ms Bezos seems to have made a wise decision to protect the value of her holding in Amazon. Pegged at $36 billion, as Bloomberg reports, it would make her the world’s fourth richest woman.

The stock had been shaken by Amazon’s vulnerability to being snatched away from her ex-husband through a hostile takeover. By reassuring investors and settling for less than equal terms, she has acted in her own best financial interest. Equity, it turns out, need not be equitable to reward its holders.

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