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Kara Swisher

Recent Posts by Kara Swisher

Actually, Amazon Paid About $150 Million for Goodreads


According to sources, Amazon paid about $150 million for Goodreads, the popular books recommendation service. But that number could close in on $200 million, if certain performance metrics are met.

And, while BusinessWeek ran a we-are-just-guessing story today that posited a self-described “overly simple, back-of-the-envelope estimate” of $1 billion, sources said that number is simply wrong.

I am still trying to determine how much of the deal was cash — most of it, said sources — and how much was stock.

The San Francisco-based Goodreads had raised close to $3 million from a range of angel investors, as well as True Ventures. The sale is a big win for the firm, which apparently owned between 20 percent and 30 percent of Goodreads.

The online retail giant bought the company to help its book-y social discovery efforts for customers.

Amazon declined to comment, but the Seattle-based company said previously that the deal should close in the second quarter. It’s not the first time Amazon has bought a social book site — in 2008, the company acquired Shelfari for under $10 million.

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The problem with the Billionaire Savior phase of the newspaper collapse has always been that billionaires don’t tend to like the kind of authority-questioning journalism that upsets the status quo.

— Ryan Chittum, writing in the Columbia Journalism Review about the promise of Pierre Omidyar’s new media venture with Glenn Greenwald