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Google, Amazon, Facebook, Apple, and Microsoft (GAFAM) - statistics & facts

Smartphones, search engines, and social media: The internet has become one of the most vital tools for communication, information, and entertainment in today's globalized world. While technological advances continue to accelerate the digitization of modern life, only a handful of players dominate the digital universe: Google (restructured into Alphabet in 2015), Amazon, Facebook, Apple, and Microsoft. Collectively known under the acronym GAFAM, the five tech giants boast user bases in the billions and a combined market value of over four trillion U.S. dollars, making them the largest internet companies worldwide. With every new product, service, and innovation, the Big Five cement their digital imprint and expand their influence on the global economy. Today, Google, Amazon, Facebook, Apple, and Microsoft are among the ten most valuable companies worldwide based on brand value.

GAFAM's (financial) control over the digital ecosystem

Google, Amazon, Facebook, Apple, and Microsoft are some of the most influential global tech corporations. While they all have different market strengths, they also compete for market share across hardware, PC and mobile operating systems, entertainment, and more. As of 2020, e-commerce giant Amazon is the leading U.S.-based internet company by market capitalization and the most valuable brand worldwide. Considered a global benchmark for high-end hardware, entertainment, and media devices, Apple is also rapidly expanding its digital dominance beyond the limits of Silicon Valley: In 2019, Apple's revenue surpassed 260 billion U.S. dollars, whereas Microsoft, Apple's primary competitor in the OS market, also reported its most successful year in company history in 2020. Google and Facebook remain global flagship names for internet search and social networks, thanks to ever-growing user counts and revenue via advertising. As two of the most-visited web properties worldwide, these platforms continue to extend their financial success and their impact on the internet's infrastructure.

Are digital game-changers spoiling the game? Antitrust in the Golden Age of GAFAM

The growth of the tech industry's powerhouses and their unmatched market dominance has far-reaching consequences for online users, competitors, and the internet's entire architecture. By acquiring successful companies and newcomers (Facebook bought Instagram and WhatsApp) and promoting their own products and services (on Google's search results), the tech giants' oligopoly eliminates competition and reduces digital diversity. This concentrated power has frequently prompted calls for antitrust action. Since Microsoft's early antitrust battle in the 1990s, a series of lawsuits were filed to regulate Big Tech's grip on the internet and democratize the digital infrastructure. From 2017 to 2019 alone, the EU Commission has fined Google over eight billion euros for anticompetitive behavior. Considering that GAFAM companies are among the top lobbying spenders in the United States, the latest antitrust investigations against Google, Amazon, Facebook, and Apple ahead of the U.S. presidential election might even become the most impactful inquiries yet.

Interesting statistics

In the following 8 chapters, you will quickly find the 59 most important statistics relating to "Google, Amazon, Facebook, Apple, and Microsoft (GAFAM)".


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