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Illustration: Lazaro Gamio/Axios

The initial offer for Amazon's now-canceled New York City HQ2 included $800 million more in tax credits and grants than its final $3 billion offer, the Wall Street Journal reports.

The big picture: Amazon is moving to New York City without the much-publicized HQ2 package. The company said in December it signed a new lease for 335,000 square feet in the city's Hudson Yards neighborhood.

What they're saying: A New York Empire State Development (ESD) official told the WSJ on Friday "that the initial offer was higher to reflect the original, larger scope of HQ2 and to draw Amazon to the negotiating table."

  • "The workforce incentives were designed with upstate areas in mind, the official said, and to help disadvantaged populations," the WSJ reports.

Details: New York state’s larger offer to Amazon — as part of the nationwide 2017 HQ2 competition — included $1.1 billion in grants and "$1.4 billion of tax credits based on the number of employees hired," per WSJ.

  • The initial offer, made in Oct. 2017, marked hundreds of millions of dollars more than what the ESD proposed a year later, per its memorandum of understanding.

Go deeper: Big Tech continues real estate spree in New York

Go deeper

Updated 21 mins ago - Health

FDA analysis finds Johnson & Johnson COVID vaccine is safe and effective

Photo: Pavlo Gonchar/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

The Food and Drug Administration's staff released a briefing document on Wednesday endorsing Johnson & Johnson's one-shot coronavirus vaccine as safe and effective.

The latest: Assuming the FDA issues an emergency use authorization "without delay," meaning as soon as this weekend, White House coronavirus coordinator Jeff Zients said J&J will have 3 million to 4 million ready for distribution next week.

Dan Primack, author of Pro Rata
1 hour ago - Economy & Business

LinkedIn co-founder's SPAC bets on flying taxis

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Reid Hoffman knows he isn't the first person who comes to mind when you hear "flying taxis."

Yes, but: The LinkedIn co-founder and venture capitalist insists that his latest deal is more than SPAC silliness, and that its success will be heavily reliant on the sorts of network effects that are in his historical wheelhouse.

1 hour ago - World

Scoop: U.S. and Israel to convene strategic forum on Iran

Biden and Netanyahu in Jerusalem in 2016. Photo: Debbie Hill/AFP via Getty

The United States and Israel have elected to reconvene a strategic working group on Iran, with the first round of talks on intelligence surrounding the Iranian nuclear program expected in the coming days, Axios has learned.

Why it matters: President Biden and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu have sharply contrasting views of the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, but the resumption of the working group is a signal that their governments are starting with a serious and professional dialogue rather than a political fight.