Amazon's widely criticized strategy of pitting cities against each other to win a contract was reportedly known internally as "F--- you. We're Amazon."
- Amazon executives and New York politicians weren't able to make things work for the company's planned second headquarters in Long Island City, Queens.
- The company officially pulled out of negotiations with NYC in February 2019 amid growing resistance from state and local politicians.
- Amazon has been criticized for its divisive approach to shopping its second headquarters location, which pitted various cities against each other in a bidding war for Amazon's business.
- The aggressive approach was known internally at Amazon as "F--- you. We're Amazon," according to a new Bloomberg report.
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Across the last several years, Amazon has been on the search for a place to build its second headquarters — the so-called "HQ2."
In that search, Amazon pitted dozens of major cities against each other in a bidding war strategy that was widely criticized.
The aggressive strategy reportedly went by an equally aggressive motto internally at Amazon: "F--- you. We're Amazon."
That's according to a new report from Bloomberg, which walks through the many obstacles Amazon faced in its attempt to build a new headquarters in a residential Queens neighborhood.
Local and state politicians — including Democratic Sen. Mike Gianaris, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, New York City Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer, and political operatives like Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union president Stuart Appelbaum — united in opposition to the deal, which ultimately caused Amazon to completely pull out.
Amazon officially confirmed the cancellation in a letter on Valentine's Day, February 14, 2019.
"After much thought and deliberation, we've decided not to move forward with our plans to build a headquarters for Amazon in Long Island City, Queens," the letter from Amazon said. "A number of state and local politicians have made it clear that they oppose our presence and will not work with us to build the type of relationships that are required to go forward with the project we and many others envisioned in Long Island City."
Amazon's plans included a promise to create approximately 25,000 new jobs in New York City, and both Mayor Bill De Blasio and Governor Andrew Cuomo touted long-term tax revenue increases in support of the move. Critics pointed to what New York City and State were giving up in the process: $3 billion in tax breaks and circumvention of the land-use process.
Following the publication of this story, Amazon head of policy communications Jodi Seth told Business Insider in an email response to a request for comment, "This is not Amazon's 'motto' and not something we ever said."