The Wall Street Journal reports:
The dust-up between Amazon founder Jeff Bezos and National Enquirer parent American Media LLC has raised questions about the media company’s connections to Saudi Arabia. American Media has had plenty of contacts with Saudi Arabia in recent years, including seeking financial backing from Saudi investors to fund acquisitions and producing a magazine celebrating the country’s new crown prince.
It also sought advice last year from the U.S. Justice Department over whether the publisher should register as a foreign agent, a person familiar with the matter told The Wall Street Journal. In recent years, American Media sought Saudi financial backing to finance a failed effort to acquire Time magazine, Sports Illustrated, Fortune and Money, the Journal reported last year.
According to the above-linked report, AMI gave Saudi officials an advance draft of the magazine and sought editorial suggestions. AMI has claimed publicly that Saudis played no role in the magazine’s production.