“Digital technologies are not just tools, but powerful weapons that enable economic growth, create new divides in society, cause war and threaten democracy “. – Brad Smith
Today’s technology issues are far deeper and broader than they were years ago. We have reached a reproving and critical point of technology.
Contemporarily Big tech or tech giants are proliferating rapidly.
What are tech giants?
Big tech, also known as the tech giants or the big five. It is the name given to the five largest and most dominant companies in the information technology industry of the United States – namely
These companies have been among the most valuable companies globally, each having had a maximum market capitalization ranging from $500 billion to around USD 2 trillion.
A brief description of these Techs :
- Amazon: It is an American multinational technology company based in Seattle, Washington. It focuses on e-commerce, cloud computing, digital streaming, and artificial intelligence.
- Apple: Apple was founded by Steve Jobs in April 1976. It develops, designs, and sells consumer electronics, computer software, and online services.
- Facebook: It was founded by Mark Zuckerberg. It is an American online social media and social networking service. People can post, text, photos, and multimedia which is shared with any other users that have agreed to be their friend.
- Google: It was founded in September 1998 by Larry Page and Sergey Brin. Google.com is the most visited website worldwide. It is an American multinational technology company that specializes in Internet-related services and products.
- Microsoft: It was founded in April 1975 and its founder is Bill Gates.
It develops, manufactures, licenses supports, and sells computer software, consumer electronics, and related services.
Impact of tech giants on market power :
These big techs have a wide impact on the market power –
(I) By 2017, Amazon was the dominant market leader in e-commerce with 50% of all sales going through the platform.
(II) Apple sells high-margin smartphones and other electronic devices.
(III) Google, Facebook, and Amazon have been referred to as the “big three” of digital advertising.
(IV) Facebook also dominates the functions of online messaging or image sharing, video sharing, search, online – mapping, etc.
(V) Microsoft continues to dominate in desktop operating system market share.
It is also the 2nd largest company in cloud computing after Amazon.
Regulators are continuously worried about the size of these companies and their potentially negative effects on market competition. These Tech giants play a huge role in our lives on a society-wide level.
They’ve become kind of more like governments than companies with the huge amount of money they have.
Covid – 19 and big tech’s profits :
After shifting to online work and leisure across the globe, US tech’s biggest names were bound to be strong.
Despite the pandemic that shocked the entire economy, big tech is doing rather well.
Apple Inc. , the world’s most valuable company, said sales rose 1% and profit slipped in three months.
Together, the tech giants took in 18% more revenue in the latest quarter than a year earlier. Apple brought in a healthy $12.7 billion in profit.
March quarter that meant Apple sold more than $1 billion on average each day.
Apple’s sales increased sharply in each of its product categories and each of its regions around the world.
Pandemic is changing shopping patterns.
The scale of online shopping during the pandemic at times has strained Amazon.
This quarter ending September, Amazon’s profit rose nearly 200%.
More than 200 million Amazon customers pay for the privilege of buying products via its prime service.
Facebook’s profit rose a blockbuster financial performance in 2020, as the pandemic pushed people indoors toward their computer and other devices – and onto apps like Instagram, WhatsApp, Messenger, Facebook, etc in increasing numbers.
Online advertising is booming. Facebook said demand is so high that the average price it charges for ads rose 30% year on year compared with the start of the covid pandemic.
The enormous profits are further evidence of the growing dominance of the biggest tech companies.
“Over the last year, people have turned to google search and many online services to stay informed, connected and entertained”, said Google chief executive Sundar Pichai.
Alphabet shares leaped more than 8 percent in after-hours trades following the release of earnings figures that eased fears the pandemic would stall the internet firm’s income engine.
Google services, data centers, and software capabilities are positioned to help with trends in online education, healthcare entertainment, and shopping, likely to continue after the pandemic has ended.
YouTube’s ad revenue was up about a third to $4 billion as people turned to online entertainment during the pandemic. Google’s profit rose by 60 percent.
Summing up we can have a note that the economic effects of Covid -19 have catapulted the tech titans to heights few might have imagined some years ago.