Ireland competing for Amazon 250-job project


22 Jun 2004

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Vat and the quality of data centres and broadband will be the deciding factors as to whether Ireland or Luxembourg will secure a lucrative 250-job project for books and music e-tailor Amazon.com’s new European technical and customer support headquarters, siliconrepublic.com has learned.

According to newspaper reports earlier today, Amazon has been looking at opportunities to establish a customer support and technical centre in either Dublin or Cork or both and has been weighing up a number of options in terms of data centres and office facilities. However, Dublin boasts the main concentration of internet data centres in Ireland.

Siliconrepublic.com learned this afternoon that at least five internet data centre providers in Dublin have been asked to furnish the internet giant with written proposals.

A spokesman for IDA Ireland said that the agency officially refuses to comment on its efforts to secure the lucrative project. However, according to sources, competition between Ireland and Luxembourg has reached fever pitch in anticipation of a decision due to be made in the coming weeks.

The project aims initially to create 250 jobs, but informed sources indicate that the project has the potential to follow the eBay/PayPal project in Blanchardstown, which began with originally 250 jobs and expanded to 800 potential jobs.

According to sources, Amazon is in two minds about its overall decision, which will be weighted by matters of Vat and technical excellence.

Luxembourg has the lowest Vat rate in the European Union at 11pc, and choosing that country would mean that because EU Vat on online sales applies to the source of the product Amazon would be able to sell books, CDs and DVDs at lower rates.

However, because of Ireland’s perceived technology prowess and the fact that Dublin has one of the largest concentrations of data centres in Europe, Amazon.com would be basing its decision on technical excellence and security of online purchases.

An initial decision deadline of the end of June had originally been set, but sources claim that the complexity involved in the decision making has pushed the deadline further out.

If Ireland succeeds in attracting Amazon, the online retail giant would join other leaders in the internet space that have come to Dublin, including Google, eBay and Yahoo/Overture.

By John Kennedy