Digital Trend Alert
The Power and Controversy of the Five Big U.S. High-Growth Tech Companies: Microsoft, Amazon, Apple, Alphabet and Facebook
by Carol Ingley
President, Media Mogul Enterprises
Week of October 21 through Week of November 18 , 2019
Digital Trends: cloud, artificial intelligence, social media, Microsoft, Amazon, Alphabet, Apple, Facebook
As the internet evolved starting in the mid-1990s, certain companies began to emerge as the leading big-growth entities to follow carefully – hence, the development of the acronym FANG. Coined by Jim Cramer of CNBC in 2013, FANG stands for four high-performing technology stocks: Facebook, Amazon, Netflix and Google (now Alphabet).
Nothing stays the same long in the high-tech industry. Thus, FANG, about two years later, evolved into FAANG with the addition of Apple to the equation. Now, Jim Cramer is talking about additional changes to his original acronym. Should Netflix even be in the equation? Shouldn’t Microsoft be there? Whatever the acronym evolves to be and however accurate Jim Cramer may be, certain technology companies have emerged as enormously successful and powerful in the U.S. as of 2019. Who are they?
Market Capitalization. What are the top five technology companies in the U.S. in terms of market capitalization (or market cap for short)? First, a definition: Take the total number of shares of a company and multiply it by the present share price to get the value of a company. Market capitalization, then, is the value of a company traded on the stock market. In addition, according to The Motley Fool, ‘Market capitalization is one of the best measures of a company's size.” Market capitalization, then, can show value and size.
As of 6/30/2019, the top U.S. technology companies in terms of market capitalization were: Microsoft, Amazon, Apple, Alphabet and Facebook.
Controversy. Yet, as these five companies have grown and dominated the U.S. culture, a great deal of controversy surrounds them. New York Times tech columnist Farhad Manjoo, now writing a book about the five, said in an interview on Fresh Air: “…they kind of know more about us than any corporations in history. They're more - they've become kind of more like governments than companies with the amount of money they have, with the kind of power they have over democracy in society.”
The controversy cuts deeper. Facebook has already had its time facing congressional hearings. Now Elizabeth Warren is running a U.S. presidential campaign partly based on breaking up big tech. According to The Verge, “In March 2019 , Elizabeth Warren announced her grand proposal to break up big tech firms like Facebook, Google, and Amazon, arguing that their sheer size and market power have staved off innovation and made the industry non-competitive.”
Fast Pace of Change. Government-like, staving off innovation, making the industry non-competitive: these are serious issues and allegations about the power of the top high tech companies in the U.S. But, for now, the world is moving forward quickly and so are these top five U.S. companies in terms of market cap.
As Anton Andrews, who heads up Microsoft’s envisioning team, stated recently, “The world that we are working in is undergoing really dramatic changes at a really rapid pace.” Think cloud, artificial intelligence (AI), internet of things, video, augmented reality, virtual reality, blockchain technology – to name only a few of the transformative and growth technologies hitting us all at once. It may be that so much is happening so quickly that these companies become moving targets.
Making the Right Moves. Big growth areas for all of these companies are cloud and artificial intelligence. The pace is rapid and even big companies can stumble without the government stepping in. It is an exciting but difficult time for the big five.
Digital Trend Alert