Amazon announces investment in France, sees 2,500 jobs

The US Internet giant Amazon said on Monday that it would open a fourth despatch centre in France with the likely creation of 2,500 jobs, as it negotiates a tax dispute with the French government.

The facility would improve the handling of orders from customers in northern France but also in Europe and the world, Amazon said.

The company, which began life early in the Internet boom by selling books online but now offers a wide range of goods, already has three distribution hubs in France.

The fourth should open in the second half of next year the company said, in a job-creation investment contrasting with widespread gloom over job losses in France.

The new centre will be sited at Lauwin-Planque in the north of the country. Amazon opened its first French distribution centre in 2007.

Each of the three existing centres employs up to 1,400 people, the company said.

Amazon said that the new unit would be developed up to 2015 when the target was for it to employ up to 2,500 people.

The French newspaper Le Figaro had got wind of the investment last week and reported that a problem with the French tax authorities which were claiming $252 million (194 million euros) in back tax was unlikely to derail the investment.

The new centre is to be developed and managed by property agents Goodman.

dep/hd/wai

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