Amazon may have outsmarted itself



November 20, 2018 - 11:33 AM

This season of “The Bachelor: Amazon” has ended. Next up may be the season of recriminations.

It has been more than a year since Inc. trumpeted its hunt for “HQ2,” which was billed as a co-equal company headquarters on which Amazon pledged to spend more than $5 billion on construction and eventually hire as many as 50,000 people. More than 200 places in North America asked Amazon to pick them, some employing gimmicks like trying to send a giant cactus to Jeff Bezos and offering to name part of a town after the company.

Amazon’s search for an HQ2 — which it turned out will be a couple of expanded branch offices in New York City and the Washington area, according to multiple reports — was tacky but successful, at least in the short term. Holding a public municipal competition for Amazon’s affection was a master stroke that generated maximum exposure for the company, delivered it  valuable information about cities and states and pitted local governments against one another to extract gains for Amazon.