Boston and NY share high tech losses as Amazon and GE bail on same day

TechCrunch | 2/14/2019 | Staff
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Boston and New York have been sporting rivals for decades, constantly fighting over bragging rights across all four major sports, but today the two cities had something in common neither was probably hoping for. Both had major tech companies back out of massive deals on the same day.

It turns out, however, the two cities lost the deals for entirely different reasons. For NY, Amazon wasn’t pleased with the political greeting it received and decided it wasn’t going to be friendly enough for its liking. In the Boston case, it was entirely an economic decision as GE’s fortunes have changed considerably since it made its plans in 2016.

New - York - Amazon - Plans - HQ2

In New York, Amazon announced it was canceling plans to put its HQ2 in Long Island City. Folks who bought speculative real estate are certainly bumming today, but it turns out that Amazon had trouble with even just a little political push-back. In a statement, it laid the blame on politicians, who had the audacity to question Amazon about its employment practices.

“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,” Amazon said in a statement.

Boston - GE - Headquarters - Fort - Point

As for Boston, it wasn’t quite so political as that. It was more that GE decided to build its headquarters in the Fort Point area of Boston at a time when it was doing reasonably well. Since that time, the company has gone through a couple of CEOs and the stock price has plummeted. It has sold or spun off divisions including its Industrial IoT business.

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