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Technology

Blockbuster Big Tech earnings reports to culminate with Amazon

  • The surging influence of Big Tech has led to calls for increased regulation, higher taxes and stronger antitrust enforcement to foster more competition.
Published April 29, 2021
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SAN FRANCISCO: A week of blockbuster earnings reports from Big Tech is expected to culminate Thursday with Amazon revealing profits from pandemic-revved online shopping and reliance on cloud-hosted services.

The e-commerce colossus is among the internet giants whose businesses thrived as precautions against Covid-19 led people around the world to go online for work, school, shopping and socializing.

On Wednesday Apple and Facebook delivered soaring profits that essentially doubled over the previous year at $23.6 billion and $9.5 billion respectively.

Apple was lifted by strong gains in sales of iPhones and assorted products and services, while Facebook saw robust increases in digital advertising, reflecting people's rising internet usage during the ongoing pandemic.

The results followed what one analyst called a "monster" quarter for Google and its parent firm Alphabet, which along with Facebook dominates online advertising. They also come after a robust report from Microsoft, which is growing its cloud computing operations.

The latest round of results are likely to prompt more attention for the tech giants, which are facing scrutiny for their growing dominance, particularly with their services seemingly ready-made for locked-down consumers.

"The large tech companies are in the right place at the right time," said Darrell West, a fellow at the Brookings Institution's Center for Technology Innovation.

"Covid has accelerated digital transformation in education, healthcare, remote work, and e-commerce and that has boosted the profitability of those firms. But there remains a backlash against the sector because people are worried about privacy, security and human safety."

The surging influence of Big Tech has led to calls for increased regulation, higher taxes and stronger antitrust enforcement to foster more competition.

"Leaders from a variety of different perspectives want tougher action and seeing the large profits is not going to ease the tension with those companies," West said.

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