America’s tech giants have grown stronger because of the coronavirus pandemic, according to a recent article in The New York Times that notes, “It’s both logical and slightly nuts.”
For companies like Amazon, Apple, Alphabet, Microsoft and Facebook, the pandemic hit was barely a tap, the article argues, noting that the group’s combined annual revenue (as of early May) was over 25 percent higher than right before the pandemic struck early last year. “The dictionary doesn’t have enough superlatives to describe what’s happening to the five biggest technology companies,” the article state. “It’s all a bit awkward, really.”
This “wildly successful” period also raises some uncomfortable questions for tech company executives, “the public and elected officials already peeved about the industry: Is what’s good for Big Tech good for America? Or are the tech superstars winning while the rest of us are losing?”
While tech was already on the upswing before the pandemic, the health crisis presented it with what the article describes as a “perfect positive storm:” We all needed the services tech provided as people were suddenly stuck at home, relegated to online shopping and virtual work meetings. But while the peculiarities of the pandemic economy resulted in big tech emerging from the pandemic “lean, mean and ready for a U.S. economy expected to roar back to life in 2021,” that there are still long lines at food banks and a slew of Americans who lost their jobs last year and may not get them back.
“It’s rocket fuel for critics,” the article says, including lawmakers and regulators in the U.S. and Europe “who say the tech giants crowd out newcomers and leave everyone worse off.”