In Brief

The tech giants report $28bn in profits

New York

31 July 2020

As their chief executives were subjected to antitrust scrutiny in the US House, America's tech giants have reported quarterly financial results that reveal staggering profits in spite of the economic downturn.

Amazon's sales have risen 40 per cent from a year ago and its profits doubled; Facebook's profit has risen by 98 per cent; and Apple has increased sales of all its products around the world and recorded $11.25bn in profit. While Alphabet, the parent company of Google, saw its advertising revenue dropped, it still recorded revenues of $38.3bn and a profit of $6.96bn.

The figures highlight the scale and power of the tech companies, which have thrived while the wider economy has tanked as the pandemic has reduced consumer spending. The US Commerce Department recently revealed that the country's gross domestic product has fallen by 9.5 per cent in the second quarter of the year – the steepest drop on record.

Combined, the four giants recorded $28.6bn in quarterly net profit, while stock prices have risen by an average of 35 per cent since the beginning of March. Amazon's home shopping business has thrived during the pandemic, while Apple has benefited from home working prompting many to invest in its products and digital services. While Facebook and Alphabet have been hit by declining advertising spend, their market dominance means they are better placed to weather the storm than many.

The financial results highlight the antitrust fears raised by the House Judiciary Committee’s antitrust subcommittee – the tech giants' reach and power mean that they do not operate on a level playing field to their competitors. However, the results also show that regulatory scrutiny, at present, is likely to remain little more than background noise for the four.