Major North America cities are ramping up efforts to attract Amazon’s new headquarters, but one business professor warns politicians hoping to “detonate a prosperity bomb” may want to think again.
“It’s like a fever pitch for the Olympics or the Super Bowl,” said NYU Professor Scott Galloway in an interview with BNN. “It feels good when you win it, but afterwards some academic or economist is going to show they massively overpaid for this.”
So far, eight Canadian cities have shown their interest in attracting the so-called “HQ2”. Toronto has perhaps been the most vocal in its pursuit of the investment, which Amazon (AMZN.O) says could represent more than US$5 billion in construction and up to 50,000 jobs.
On Thursday, Toronto Mayor John Tory announced his city would be teaming up with neighbouring cities Mississauga and Brampton, along with the regions of Durham, Halton and York in a unified front. Tory has also expressed interest in teaming up with the nearby cities of Waterloo and Hamilton.
While Canadian cities scramble to attract Amazon, Galloway says public opinion in the U.S. may be shifting against the online retail giant.
“Both government and regulators are beginning to look at whether it’s good for society to have a company that can get to half a trillion dollars in value without paying any meaningful corporate income tax,” he said.