Internet retailer Amazon.com is reported to be in talks with the IDA about possibly setting up a multimillion euro operations centre in Dublin. The move follows hot on the heels of other internet luminaries such as Google, Overture and eBay that have all pledged to create hundreds of jobs in and around Dublin.
According to reports this morning, representatives from the US firm met Government and IDA officials last week to discuss the project that would create hundreds of jobs for technology and marketing graduates.
The internet powerhouse is understood to be considering a number of European locations that could offer low-cost and reliable telecommunications connectivity to allow it to better serve its growing European business.
Winning the project would establish the Republic of Ireland firmly as a European e-commerce hub and win plenty of prestige in the digital media space. The company already has a European supply hub in the UK. Other countries interested in securing the prestigious project include Holland, Switzerland and the UK.
It is understood that executives from Amazon last week visited several data centres, including facilities owned by Esat BT, WorldCom and Telecity, to assess their suitability for hosting and mirroring its web servers.
Since its origin in the late Nineties, Jeff Bezos’ company has become the symbol of the internet economy and has managed to maintain a consistent growth curve despite the global downturn wrought by the dotcom bust in 2001. The company is now worth around US$21bn and forecasts sales of US$6.25bn next year.
Whilst predominantly a US business, Amazon has been steadily growing its international business segments over the past five years. International business now makes up more than 30pc of sales and it is growing rapidly. In the third quarter, international sales grew 61pc to US$425m.
By John Kennedy