Daisuke Wakabayashi, Karen Weise, Jack Nicas, and Mike Isaac, reporting for The New York Times:
A day after lawmakers grilled the chief executives of the biggest
tech companies about their size and power, Amazon, Apple, Alphabet
and Facebook reported surprisingly healthy quarterly financial
results, defying one of the worst economic downturns on record.
Even though the companies felt some sting from the spending
slowdown, they demonstrated, as critics have argued, that they are
operating on a different playing field from the rest of the
Amazon’s sales were up 40 percent from a year ago and its profit
doubled. Facebook’s profit jumped 98 percent. Even though the
pandemic shuttered many of its stores, Apple increased sales of
all its products in every part of the world and posted $11.25
billion in profit. Advertising revenue dropped for Alphabet, the
laggard of the bunch, but it still did better than Wall Street had
There was an undercurrent at yesterday’s hearing alleging that these companies, Amazon in particular, were profiteering during the COVID crisis. I don’t think that’s the case. Whatever one’s complaints about any or all of these four companies, they’ve thrived in 2020 because they’re among the few large institutions that have managed the crisis well.