Yet another angle to the Amazon HQ2 Scam this month narrowed down 238 applicants for its second headquarters to 20 cities, but experts say it got something even from the losing bidders: A rich trove of information that can benefit the company for years to come.

Ronnie Bryant, CEO of the Charlotte Regional Partnership … estimates 100 people played some kind of role in the Amazon proposal. … The mayor of Pittsburgh, a finalist on Amazon’s shortlist, said his city’s bid could cost as much as $500,000.

A person familiar with the Amazon bidding process, who asked not to be named because of the sensitivity of the process, told the Observer that the company has now created one of the most extensive databases for community information in the country.

“Now,” the person said, “they’re going to get even more from 20 more (cities).”

—Katherine Peralta And Ely Portillo, Charlotte Observer[^1]