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NBC News: ‘Impressive and a little scary’: How Amazon and Jeff Bezos made Washington a second home

Read on NBC News

In just about every direction, the White House is surrounded by e-commerce giant Amazon and its CEO Jeff Bezos.

Almost due west from the executive mansion is Amazon Books, a brick-and-mortar version of its e-commerce destination. The $23 million mansion owned by Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos is a 15-minute drive to the northwest. The Washington Post, owned by Bezos, is a short walk to the northeast. Amazon’s Washington headquarters is just to the east.

Head a bit farther south across the Potomac River into Virginia and there’s Crystal City, soon to be renamed “National Landing” once Amazon makes it home to its massive second headquarters, or HQ2, investment.

Even beyond that, the outskirts of the city — a northern Virginia area that has been described as “the bull’s-eye of America’s internet” — is home to 29 of the company’s 35 Amazon Web Services data centers. On a map, it can look like a pending invasion of the nation’s capital.

But Amazon is already deeply embedded in Washington and has plans to further entrench itself in the nation’s capital, putting it close to power brokers as well as billions of dollars in government contracts. While major tech companies have ingrained themselves in the capital in recent years, none are as present as Amazon, according to policy and lobbying experts who spoke to NBC News.

Read the full story on NBC News. 

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In America today, wealth and political power are more concentrated than at any point in our country’s history.

The Open Markets Institute, formerly the Open Markets program at New America, was founded to protect liberty and democracy from these extreme -- and growing -- concentrations of private power.

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