Report: Amazon’s Jeff Bezos Was Jealous of Subsidy King Elon Musk

Tesla CEO Elon Musk unveils the new Tesla factory in Fremont, Calif., Wednesday, Oct. 27, 2010. The new Tesla factory is the former NUMMI plant. (AP Photo/Paul Sakuma)
AP Photo/Paul Sakuma

According to a recent report, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos’ attempt to open the company’s HQ2 in New York because he was jealous of Elon Musk and the government subsidies that Tesla has received.

According to an article published by Bloomberg titled “Behind Amazon’s HQ2 Fiasco: Jeff Bezos Was Jealous of Elon Musk,” Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos was motivated partly by jealousy in his decision to attempt to open Amazon’s HQ2 in New York. The billionaire CEO was reportedly jealous of the government subsidies awarded to another billionaire CEO and his company — namely Tesla CEO Elon Musk.

Bloomberg writes:

When Elon Musk secured $1.3 billion from Nevada in 2014 to open a gigantic battery plant, Jeff Bezos noticed. In meetings, the Amazon.com Inc. chief expressed envy for how Musk had pitted five Western states against one another in a bidding war for thousands of manufacturing jobs; he wondered why Amazon was okay with accepting comparatively trifling incentives. It was a theme Bezos returned to often, according to four people privy to his thinking. Then in 2017, an Amazon executive sent around a congratulatory email lauding his team for landing $40 million in government incentives to build a $1.5 billion air hub near Cincinnati. The paltry sum irked Bezos, the people say, and made him even more determined to try something new.

And so, when Amazon launched a bakeoff for a second headquarters in September 2017, the company made plain that it was looking for government handouts in exchange for a pledge to invest $5 billion and hire 50,000 people. The splashy reality-television-style contest generated breathless media coverage, attracted fawning bids from 238 cities across North America and ended with Amazon deciding to split the so-called HQ2 between New York and Virginia. Then progressive politicians attacked the $3 billion in incentives offered by New York, and Bezos pulled out.

Many members of the HQ2 team were reportedly aware of the sort of issues they would face, but eager to impress Bezos they pushed ahead. The HQ2 team appeared to bank largely on Amazon’s brand name and the promise of jobs, but unfortunately, other issues arose. Bloomberg writes:

That blinkered assumption continues to resonate today, not least among city officials across the continent who felt manipulated by Amazon, according to people familiar with their thinking. Meanwhile, a bipartisan group of state lawmakers is considering a non-aggression pact to halt the kind of tax-incentive bidding war unleashed during the HQ2 process. “This entire thing was an ego exercise that blew up in Jeff Bezos’s face,” says one of the people.

In an emailed statement, Amazon said the company has invested $270 billion in 40 states and created more than 500,000 jobs with competitive wages, benefits and employee training. “We partner with hundreds of communities across the country to bring them new jobs and investment. Like many other companies, we are eligible to access incentive programs created and regulated by cities and states to attract new investors – as they know that these investments pay a long-term dividend in the form of jobs, new economic opportunity, and incremental tax revenue.”

As Breitbart News has previously reported, the Amazon deal fell through in February of 2019 with the company stating at the time: “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. For Amazon, the commitment to build a new headquarters requires positive, collaborative relationships with state and local elected officials who will be supportive over the long-term. While polls show that 70% of New Yorkers support our plans and investment, 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.”

Bloomberg notes that while Bezos may still count the HQ2 saga as a failure, he can be thankful that due to $762 million in incentives from Virginia Amazon is narrowing the subsidy gap with Elon Musk’s Tesla.

Read the full article in Bloomberg here.

Lucas Nolan is a reporter for Breitbart News covering issues of free speech and online censorship. Follow him on Twitter @LucasNolan or email him at lnolan@breitbart.com

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