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Facebook's latest office deal may open the door to 300 new jobs

Facebook has signed a deal that paves the way for major expansion of its Dublin operation.

The social media giant will rent a huge new space in the heart of the silicon square mile with room for at least 800 people – a doubling of current numbers.

It has agreed a circa €3.5m letting with Joe O'Reilly's Chartered Land at the Nama-controlled Daniel Libeskind building in Grand Canal Square, around the corner from Google.

Facebook's current offices are half the size, and a letting deal there is reported to be due to end in 2014.

Earlier this year, Facebook announced it was recruiting 100 more people at its Dublin office, bringing the number working there to 500. This new space suggests possible expansion involving another 300 jobs or more.

The move is particularly positive against the background of ramped-up competition from Britain, which recently tweaked tax rules that make its effective corporation tax rate extremely competitive with Ireland. That makes its 'Silicon Roundabout' tech hub in east London more attractive, as does an intellectual property friendly 'patent box' tax of just 10 per cent. Google and Facebook have significant presence there.

The news follows Microsoft's quiet acquisition of around 10 acres bought from dotcom tycoon Cyril McGuire and others at South County Business Park, with plans to build a new campus there expected to involve around €100m capital investment.

Meanwhile, Yahoo is on the hunt for new offices in the docklands or city centre and is adding 200 new jobs soon.

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