Amazon, Facebook and Apple thriving in lockdown – BBC News

Jeff Bezos testifies by remote videoImage copyright

The coronavirus crisis might be causing widespread economic upheaval around the world, but the world’s biggest tech firms are thriving.

Amazon sales soared 40% in the three months ending June, while Apple saw a surge in purchases of its iPhones and other hardware.

At Facebook, the number of people on its platforms, which include WhatsApp and Instagram, jumped by 15%.

The gains come as the firms face scrutiny over anti-trust concerns.

At a hearing in Washington on Wednesday, lawmakers grilled the companies about whether they were abusing their powers to quash rivals, noting the sharp contrast between their fortunes and many other firms.

Their positions, already dominant, are likely to become even stronger, as the pandemic pushes even more activity online, said Congressman David Cicilline, the Democrat who leads the committee.

“Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, these corporations already stood out as titans in our economy,” he said.

“In the wake of COVID-19, however, they are likely to emerge stronger and more powerful than ever before.”

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Crowds wait to enter Apple’s new flagship store in Beijing

What were the Amazon, Apple, Facebook and Google results?

At Amazon, sales surged 40% in the three months ended in June, hitting $88.9bn (£67.9bn) – its strongest growth in years.

Despite heavy spending on protective gear and other measures due to the virus, the firm’s quarterly profits doubled to $5.2bn, up from $2.6bn a year ago.

At Facebook, revenues increased 11% – slower than other quarters – but were still ahead of analysts’ expectations. The firm’s profits hit almost $5.2bn for the quarter.

Meanwhile, Apple said quarterly revenues jumped 11% year-on-year to $59.7bn. Profits hit $11.25bn, up from $10bn in the same period a year ago.

Alphabet, which owns Google and YouTube, was the weakest of the four.

The search giant said revenues were $38.3bn, down 2% from a year ago, as businesses cut back on ad spending. Profits dropped about 30% year-on-year to roughly $7bn.


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