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5 things to know about Amazon

The bidding war is in full-swing as cities across the United States and beyond compete for Amazon’s second headquarters. Now the company has narrowed its list to a final grouping that includes Atlanta and 19 other metro areas in the U.S. and Canada. 

» RELATED: Atlanta named to Amazon’s shortlist for HQ2

On Thursday, the e-commerce company announced the news, revealing a shortlist that includes The Peach City, Austin, Boston, Dallas, Denver, Los Angeles, New York, Nashville, Toronto and Washington, D.C. and its suburbs. 

Amazon’s finalists will now vie for the massive project, known as HQ2, that could house 50,000 highly paid tech and corporate workers. 

Want to learn more about Amazon? Here are five things you should know.

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It was formerly called Cadabra, Inc.

In 1994, Jeff Bezos left his position as the vice-president of D. E. Shaw & Co. to pursue the internet business, according to “Jeff Bezos: The Founder of Amazon.com” by Ann Byers. He began working on a business plan for an e-commerce site. He initially named Cadabra, Inc., short for “abracadabra,” but changed it after a lawyer mistakenly called it “cadaver,” the biography says.

Next, he toyed with calling it Relentless, purchasing the URL, which he still owns and which still redirects to the retailer. However, his friends said it sounded sinister, so Bezos changed it to Amazon after skimming through the dictionary. He once said the Amazon River was the biggest river in the world and that he wanted his site to be the biggest bookstore in the world, the book says. Amazon.com went live in 1995. 

The company has half a million employees.

In October 2017, Amazon announced that it had 541,900 employees in its third quarter, up from a little more than 300,000 just from the previous year. In Georgia, Amazon has more than 500 employees, which does not include seasonal employees. 

In the state alone, there are 80,000 authors, sellers and developers that use the Amazon platforms. Also, there are about 28,000 charitable organizations in Georgia that Amazon customers can support by shopping on AmazonSmile.

» RELATED: Atlanta predicted as the top place Amazon could build headquarters

Its revenue exceeds $135 billion. 

In 2016, the company’s revenue was more than $135 billion. Amazon is responsible for more than 40 percent of online retail sales in America, according to Forbes. It has aquired companies, including Zappos, Audible, Graphiq and most recently Whole Foods. 

In a June 2017 press release, it announced a definitive agreement to pay cash for Whole Foods in a deal valued at some $13.7 billion.

Amazon's current logo depicts a smile that goes from A to Z.

The current logo, created in 2000, is a simple one that displays “amazon.com” in black, bold letters. There’s also a curved, orange arrow right underneath that points from “a” to “z.” It represents that Amazon sells everything from “a” to “z.”

"In a very short period of time, Amazon.com has become one of the world's most recognized brands," Jaleh Bisharat, vice president of marketing at Amazon.com, said in a company press release. "We updated our logo to match the vitality of the brand and to reflect our most important core value -- customer satisfaction. We believe the new logo exudes happiness, is fresh and unique, and has the potential, over time, to join the world's great consumer marks."

Its warehouses have more square footage than 700 Madison Square Gardens.

FrugalDad, the personal finance site, published an infographic, detailing Amazon’s growth since its inception. Researchers found that all of its warehouses combined have more square footage than 700 Madison Square Gardens, and it could hold more water than 10,000 Olympic pools. Analysts also discovered that the number of Amazon’s active users is twice the population of Canada. Take a look at the graphic below. 

» RELATED: Here are the cities that Atlanta has to beat out for Amazon’s second headquarters2

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