JCC: Amazon HQ2 Bidding Process

In September 2017, Amazon announced an open bidding process for locations across North America to establish its second headquarters (HQ2). With 50,000 jobs and $5 billion dollars in investment to be allocated to one of over 200 applicants, not to mention the eventual design of HQ2 after a location was chosen, Amazon’s Officers and Directors had given themselves a massive assignment.

Amazon, having grown to be one of the richest companies in the world and whose leaders achieve celebrity status, wields more power than many state and national governments. Hence, the decision for the placement of HQ2 is of no small consequence, and the deliberations preceding this decision could experience severe interference by outside players. Despite their massive advantage in any bargaining process, this is a huge investment for Amazon, one they want to allocate wisely, and carries with it a whole slew of potential public relations scandals before and after a decision is made.

Upon announcing that the location of HQ2 would be split between New York City and Washington D.C. in November 2018, Amazon faced major media backlash with accusations of faking the whole process, in addition to criticisms of the incredible tax breaks they received. Chaos ensued when a cohort of newly elected State, City, and Local officials in New York began protesting the arrival of Amazon, sparking a national dialogue about standing up to large corporations. With public trust and a soiled image hanging in the balance, Amazon must defend itself from being permanently construed as a corporate bully, and attempt to salvage a deal with these New York officials (who experience infighting of their own) to avoid the costly loss of NYC as a location for HQ2.

Given the very recent source material and the versatility that comes with simulating the operations of such an economic superpower, delegates will have the opportunity to completely reinvent the ending of what became a major political and economic fiasco.