Amazon sent a
lobbyist to Georgia ahead of the start of its legislative
session next month.
The lobbyist spurred speculation that Atlanta could be
the site of Amazon’s second North American
Amazon now says the lobbyist’s work has nothing to do
with its search for a second corporate home.
registered a lobbyist in Georgia this month in a move that
spurred widespread speculation that Atlanta could be a top
contender for the site of its second North American
But Atlanta can’t declare victory quite yet: it turns out the
lobbyist has nothing to do with Amazon’s search for a second
corporate home, which the company calls HQ2.
In a statement to Business Insider late Tuesday, an Amazon
representative said: “Amazon’s public policy team works on a
variety of issues on behalf of our customers in cities and states
across the country. This work is ongoing and not related to our
search for HQ2.”
The lobbyist, Jacob Oster, registered on December 7 with the
Georgia State Ethics Commission, ahead of the start of Georgia’s
legislative session in January. The lobbyist’s presence in
Georgia became “the buzz of economic development circles,”
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported.
Amazon was initially mum on why it was sending a lobbyist to
Atlanta is one of the more than 200 cities competing to be the
home of Amazon’s second North American headquarters — and
according to one
recent analysis, it’s a leading candidate.
Lobbyists represent the interests of companies or organizations
to lawmakers, though it’s unclear what issues Oster will address
when the Legislature convenes next month. His LinkedIn profile
says he specializes in energy policies at Amazon.
Amazon announced in September that it was seeking proposals from
local governments that could offer incentives, like tax
exemptions, for the company to house its next headquarters there.
Amazon said it preferred metro areas with at least 1 million
residents and an educated workforce.