Bloomberg reveals Omidyar stealthily co-invested with Koch Brothers in government telecom contractor
A weird buried lede in this Bloomberg story uncovering one of the Koch Brothers’ front companies.
The company, 1888 Management LLC, was reportedly created to stealthily invest the Kochs billions without drawing too much attention. One such investment, Bloomberg reports, went to the myserious sounding X5 OpCo LLC:
At 1888, [Trent] May is focusing in part on making direct investments in companies in which the Kochs can take a sizable stake, according to people with knowledge of the operation. Among 1888’s other investments is a stake in a telecommunications company called X5 OpCo LLC, which provides voice and data services to businesses and governments.
A significant investment in a government telecoms contractor. So far, so Koch Brothers.
But about that buried lede...
Keep scrolling and you’ll find this…
A family investment company of Pierre Omidyar, a billionaire founder of EBay Inc., has also disclosed an interest in the Seattle-based company.
Yep. The Koch’s co-investor in the stealthy deal is Pierre Omidyar, eBay founder and 100% owner of the Intercept, the publication that currently controls Edward Snowden’s NSA secrets revealing how the government attempts to hack into the nation’s communications networks.
We’ve written before about how Omidyar’s ownership of (and editorial influence over) the Intercept presents a conflict of interest. Omidyar has been a regular visitor to the White House and has co-invested with the State Department in political groups tied to the revolution in Ukraine. This latest revelation -- that Omidyar secretly co-invested with a front company controlled by the awful, awful Koch Brothers -- is yet another red flag in a field already aflutter with them.
Still, given that Omidyar has spent millions of dollars investing in a publication that forces transparency on government actors, it’s safe to assume he holds business leaders like himself to the same standard.
A spokesman for the Kochs declined to comment on 1888. A representative for Omidyar’s Ohana Holdings LLC also declined to comment.