[UPDATED] PRM Files DPA To Uncover What Minnesota Offered Amazon For HQ2

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Updated 1/19/2018: Minnesota is officially out of the running, nullifying Greater MSP’s claim of competitive secrecy.

Updated 12/9 1130 am CST: DEED has replied to PRMs request with two documents:

  1.  A document dated 12/16 signed by DEED Comissioner Shawntera Hardy indicates an initial offer of between $3-$5m of state aid, which is consistent with current statutory limits. Also mentioned are special examples of incentive packages previously authorized by the Minnesota Legislature. Positioned as possibilities these include: tax exemptions, expanded awards, and infrastructure support.  The “Unique public-private partnerships” section highlights such examples as Rochester’s Destination Medical Center and Minneapolis’ US Bank Stadium, which combined received over a billion dollars in Minnesota taxypayer funding.
  2. A cover letter for the actual proposal also dated October 16th and signed by Mark Dayton.

If the release of these two documents smells like red herring, you might be wondering: where is the actual proposal?

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Minnesota’s Top Lawyer Joins 21 Others In Suing The FCC

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By Brian Heater, TechCrunch

“A lawsuit filed today by the attorneys general of 22 states seeks to block the Federal Communications Commission’s recent controversial vote to repeal Obama era Net Neutrality regulations.

The filing is led by New York State Attorney General Schneiderman, who called rollback a potential “disaster for New York consumers and businesses, and for everyone who cares about a free and open internet.”

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Searching For Minnesota’s Amazon Bid

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By Matt Ehling and Mike Kaszuba, Public Record Media

“Four months after Amazon announced plans to build a second corporate headquarters – setting off a nationwide competition – Minnesota has concealed its Amazon bid through the use of a nonprofit whose board includes representatives of many of the state’s top companies.

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Minnesota’s AG Joins In Lawsuit Over The Repeal Of Net Neutrality

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By Brian Bakst, Minnesota Public Radio

“Minnesota Attorney General Lori Swanson said she plans to join peers from other states in challenging federal rule changes to internet access.

Swanson told supporters in an email that she and other attorneys general would sue over the Federal Communications Commission’s recent decision to repeal the so-called net neutrality rule, which prevented service providers from blocking certain sites or setting rates based on content. The regulation was put in place in 2015.”

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Al Franken Just Gave the Speech Big Tech Has Been Dreading

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By Nitasha Tiku, Wired

“Senator Al Franken (D-Minnesota) delivered some of the sharpest criticism yet about the dangers of tech giants like Facebook, Google, and Amazon during a speech on Wednesday, encouraging regulators, as well as lawmakers in both parties, to better police the market power of dominant online platforms.”

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Minnesota Drone Startup QFO Labs Is Suing Best Buy, Target, and Amazon

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Via News Release

QFO Labs, a drone technology licensing firm, announced today it is seeking an injunction in Federal Court (Minnesota District) to protect its patents for handheld “tilt-to-fly” control technology it began developing in Minnesota more than 15 years ago. It seeks to stop the sale of consumer drone products manufactured by France-based Parrot SA at three major retailers that have a presence in Minnesota: Best Buy, Target, and Amazon.”

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Minneapolis Attorney Builds A Business Around Cybersecurity

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By Nicole Norfleet, Star Tribune

“Minneapolis attorney Stephen Yoch became a cybersecurity expert by accident. Six years ago, he represented a construction company in a lawsuit in which an employee claimed unpaid wages after he reportedly stole data from the company. Yoch learned about cybersecurity as he went and ended up winning the case.”

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Tech Giant IBM Is Suing Minnesota For Denying $33m In Tax Credits

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Brian Bakst, MPR

“IBM is seeking more than $33 million from the state of Minnesota over research tax credits the company says it was due.  In a lawsuit filed Wednesday against the Minnesota Department of Revenue, the New York-based technology giant contends that it qualified for more research tax credits than it was granted for a span of a few years.”

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Minnesota’s AG Sues CenturyLink

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Via Star Tribune

“ST. PAUL, Minn. — Minnesota Attorney General Lori Swanson is suing CenturyLink, alleging the internet provider is overbilling many Minnesota customers after quoting lower rates. Swanson filed the lawsuit in Anoka County District Court on Wednesday. The lawsuit argues that the Louisiana-based company has frequently charged residents higher monthly rates than they were quoted and refused to honor the lower price.”

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EFF Is Suing The Justice Department Over Reputed GeekSquad Spies

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Via Star Tribune

“The Justice Department was sued Wednesday by a privacy group seeking information on the FBI’s alleged recruitment of Best Buy employees to search consumer computers for child pornography during repairs.  The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) filed a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit against the Justice Department, demanding access to records about any FBI training and payment to Geek Squad workers to search customer computers without a court warrant.”

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