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Amazon launches search for second North American HQ

Amazon has opened a hunt for a second home, pledging to spend more than 5 billion dollars (£3.8 billion) to build another headquarters in North America.

The e-commerce giant will stay in its sprawling Seattle headquarters, and the new space will be "a full equal" with as many as 50,000 jobs, said founder and chief executive Jeff Bezos.

The announcement will create a scramble among cities and states vying to make the shortlist. Cities have until next month to apply through a special website, and the company said it will make a final decision next year.

It gave few hints about where it will land, but said it is looking at metropolitan areas with populations of more than a million that have the potential to attract top technical talent.

In the last month Amazon announced plans to build three new warehouses in Oregon, New York and Ohio, to pack and ship packages, and it recently paid close to 14 billion dollars (£10.7 billion) to buy organic grocer Whole Foods and its more than 465 stores.

The company plans to hire 100,000 people by the middle of next year.

There are 24 restaurants and cafes within Amazon's Seattle campus, where more than 40,000 people are employed.

The increase in personal income around the Seattle headquarters for people not employed by Amazon increased by about 17 billion dollars (£13 billion) due to direct investments, according to the company.


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