More than a year ago, Amazon announced it was on the lookout for a new home. One city in the U.S. had the opportunity to land the biggest tech giant the world has ever known. This week, word has leaked that CEO Jeff Bezos is near a final verdict. Not only is it not what anyone expected, but it's making plenty of people furious too.
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Amazon hasn't confirmed it yet, but multiple outlets report that HQ2 will actually be split between two cities: Alexandria, Virginia, outside of Washington, D.C.; and Long Island City, Queens, just east of Manhattan. Dozens of metro areas large and small have spent the past year campaigning for HQ2, promising huge tax breaks, historic location options, unchecked civic free reign, and anything else that might infuse a city with high-end jobs and equally high-end taxes.
Instead of helping a distressed metro like Detroit or an up-and-coming city like Denver bloom, Amazon is leaning toward two cities that need its presence the least. New York and D.C. already face overburdened infrastructure and functionally unaffordable housing prices, neither of which are likely to be eased by HQ2's presence. In fact, many skeptics now believe there was never any intention of building a massive new Amazon node to rival its Seattle base. What Amazon did get was something it's sought to monopolize all along: data.
It's somehow fitting that a company which offers breaking into your home or your car as a perk would pull a fast one on this scale. Watch where Amazon goes next, especially when it comes to personal data — its new target might be your health.