Big Tech keeps getting bigger
The New York Times
The backlash against tech’s Frightful Five—Apple, Amazon, Google, Facebook, and Microsoft—hasn’t hurt their bottom lines a bit, said Farhad Manjoo. Each of them reported earnings “brimming with fantastic news” for investors. Even after Facebook lost $120 billion in market value in one day, it’s still the fifthmost valuable corporation in America. Big Tech has been hit with calls for antitrust investigations, accused of political bias, criticized for a lack of diversity, and bashed for feeding an unprecedented increase in income inequality. Company leaders have sounded contrite and “remorseful,” and have admitted “moral responsibility” as well as a commitment to “rehabilitation.” Yet all the while, they’ve “expanded their foothold in our lives.” If they face real competition, it’s mainly from one another. And thanks to growing sales of high-margin web services, including Amazon’s cloud-computing business, the Frightful Five are making money even more rapidly. All that cash gets reinvested in tech “that will dominate the future, from artificial intelligence to voice services to self-driving cars.” Get used to the Frightful Five. Their footprint on the culture is only growing, and they’re still finding a lot more new ways to make money. Despite the outcry, don’t expect their power to fade anytime soon.