The Kenyon Review just revealed that Amazon's funding their short story competition:
The Kenyon Review is one of a diverse range of not-for-profit author and publisher groups receiving support from Amazon.com for programs dedicated to developing new voices and new books, including the Council for Literary Magazines and Presses, Lambda Literary Foundation, Poets & Writers, One Story, Ledig House, The Loft, Hedgebrook, Copper Canyon Press, The Moth, Seattle Arts & Lectures, Richard Hugo House, Milkweed Editions, Artist Trust, Voice of Witness, Open Letter, Archipelago Books, Pen American Center, Words Without Borders, the Association of Writers & Writing Programs, and the Alliance for Young Artists & Writers. All of these organizations share Amazon.com’s obsession with fostering the creation, discussion, and publication of new authors and new work.
Call me cynical, but I see this as part of Amazon's overall strategy to gain market share and shut out publishers. If they can control the process from literary journals to publishers to marketing to distribution to sales, then they truly control the entire chain of production.
Although many people noticed Amazon trying to replace publishers with their Kindle Publishing Program, I just don't think anyone foresaw them reaching this far into the primordial muck of writing to fund literary journals. (If you notice, One Story is also among the journals receiving funding from Amazon).
As a literary journal editor, though, you can hardly be picky about your source of funding, because there's so little to go around. And to be slightly less cynical, I highly doubt that the funding will significantly affect editorial standards. However, it might affect the ability of bloggers to critique Amazon's less altruistic moves, such as their head-stomping of Macmillan.