Jeff Bezos Is Officially the Richest Person in the World

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos

The company's shares have been on a tear over the past year, passing the US$1000 ($1335) mark and hitting $1082 about noon on Thursday (US time), propelling Bezos, 53, to $90.6 billion compared with Gates' $90.1b.

Revenue from its Amazon Web Services that hosts computing power and storage in the internet cloud rose to $4.1 billion from $2.9 billion in the same quarter a year ago.

The drop in Amazon profits is reportedly due to investment in new areas within its business and worldwide expansion.

Subscription sales including Prime fees rose 51 percent in the second quarter to $2.2 billion.

Jeff Bezos, the founder of the e-commerce juggernaut Amazon.com, is now the richest person in the world, after the shares of his company rose by over 1 per cent in the USA on Thursday and increased the monetary value of his substantial stockholding.

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From its origins as an online bookseller, Amazon has jumped into areas that historically had barriers to e-commerce, from apparel to appliances.

Amazon's surprise announcement in June that it would buy Whole Foods, the purveyor of organics and healthy fare, for $13.7b is already rattling the grocery sector, and competitors' share prices dropped on the news. The specter of Amazon's disruption now hangs over a dizzying array of industries. Amazon has committed to investing $5 billion in India and earlier this year said it would take on commerce in the Middle East by acquiring Dubai-based Souq.com.

The increase in Amazon's share price came in advance of Amazon results due on Thursday evening. Analysts surveyed by Zacks investment Research were expecting earnings of $1.40 per share on revenue. The deal is expected to be completed in the second half of this year.

Bu while Amazon consistently posts blockbuster sales growth, its profit has often not kept pace due to thin retail margins and high investment to expand the company's already vast reach in the United States economy.

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