Amazon is narrowing down its HQ2 contenders, but there reportedly could be multiple winners

  • Amazon is in late-stage talks with multiple cities for its second headquarters project, HQ2, the Wall Street Journal reported.
  • One of these cities will likely get the bulk of HQ2 investment, but the Journal cited sources who said the company might also announce consolation prizes for some runner-up cities.
  • We'll all know soon enough, as Amazon has said it will announce its decision by the end of the year. 

The search for Amazon's second headquarters just got more complicated.

Amazon is in late-stage talks with multiple cities, the Wall Street Journal reported on Sunday, citing people familiar with the matter. It appears Amazon is chatting it up with officials in Crystal City, Virginia; Dallas, Texas; and New York City. 

The Journal's report cautions that the discussions are likely in different stages with each city, and that the multiple conversations may be happening so that Amazon would have a backup plan in case one falls through. 

But the Journal also reports that Amazon could announce smaller operations in cities that are not ultimately chosen for HQ2, much like a second- or third-place prize.

RELATED: Take a look at all the cities eager to lure Amazon's HQ2:

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Cities most eager to lure Amazon HQ2
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Cities most eager to lure Amazon HQ2

Washington D.C.

14% of respondents are willing to pay more in taxes to lure Amazon to their city.

Austin, Texas: 

14% of respondents are willing to pay more in taxes to lure Amazon to their city.

Denver, Colorado: 

14% of respondents are willing to pay more in taxes to lure Amazon to their city.

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania:

15% of respondents are willing to pay more in taxes to lure Amazon to their city.

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania: 

15% of respondents are willing to pay more in taxes to lure Amazon to their city.

New York City:

16% of respondents are willing to pay more in taxes to lure Amazon to their city.

Chicago, Illinois:

16% of respondents are willing to pay more in taxes to lure Amazon to their city.

Los Angeles, California:

17% of respondents are willing to pay more in taxes to lure Amazon to their city.

Boston, Massachusetts:

18% of respondents are willing to pay more in taxes to lure Amazon to their city. 

Columbus, Ohio:

19% of respondents are willing to pay more in taxes to lure Amazon to their city.

Atlanta, Georgia: 

19% of respondents are willing to pay more in taxes to lure Amazon to their city.

Raleigh, North Carolina:

20% of respondents are willing to pay more in taxes to lure Amazon to their city.

Dallas, Texas:

21% of respondents are willing to pay more in taxes to lure Amazon to their city.

Miami, Florida:

21% of respondents are willing to pay more in taxes to lure Amazon to their city.

Nashville, Tennessee:

23% of respondents are willing to pay more in taxes to lure Amazon to their city.

Indianapolis, Indiana: 

26% of respondents are willing to pay more in taxes to lure Amazon to their city.

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Amazon already has a nationwide operation, so it makes sense that it would want to expand in more than one city. Plus, Amazon might get more favorable terms from cities and states who would find the large tax breaks an easier sell to constituents when packaged with HQ2 luster.

An Amazon representative did not immediately return Business Insider's request for comment on the report. 

The window for Amazon to name the location for HQ2 is closing fast.

The company has less than two months left to announce its decision for where it will invest $5 billion and add some 50,000 jobs for the HQ2 project. The last official communication from Amazon came almost exactly 10 months ago, when it narrowed its selection to 20 finalist cities in January.

Since then, the ony thing Amazon has said is that it will make its decision by the end of the year, leaving speculation to run rampant. 

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