| 1 February 2023, Wednesday |

Google owner Alphabet hits $2tn cap, joining the ranks of Microsoft and Apple

On Monday, Alphabet, Google’s parent company, briefly reached a market capitalisation of $2 trillion, joining Apple ($2.47tn) and Microsoft ($2.53tn) in the $2tn club.

The California-based company reached this milestone less than two years after reaching $1 trillion in January of last year. However, the stock price later fell, bringing the market value back down to around $1.98 trillion at the end of trading on Monday.

Since the beginning of the year, the company’s share price has increased by approximately 73%.

Despite pandemic-caused disruptions, Alphabet’s largest company, Google, remained the top earner of global advertising revenue.

According to a May report from eMarketer, the company earned 27.5 percent of net global advertising revenue last year.

It was followed by Facebook, which received 22.3% of advertising revenue, and both companies were trailed by e-commerce firms Alibaba (8.6%) and Amazon (5.2%), as well as Tencent (2.9%), the world’s largest gaming company in terms of revenue.

Alphabet, the world’s largest provider of search and video advertisements, reported a 68.4% year-on-year increase in third-quarter net profit to $18.9 billion in the three months ending September 30.

The strong performance of Google Services, which includes advertisements, Android, Chrome, hardware, Maps, Search, Google Play, and YouTube, fueled this growth.

Since its inception in 1998, the company has expanded its portfolio and entered a number of new revenue streams.

It paid $50 million for the Android operating system, which is now used by more than 2.5 billion people, in 2005. This strategic acquisition occurred two years before the 2007 launch of Apple’s first iPhone.

In 2006, the company paid $1.65 billion for YouTube, the world’s largest video-sharing site. YouTube added more than $7.2 billion to Alphabet’s revenue in the last quarter, up more than 43% year on year, and was close to streaming service company Netflix’s third-quarter revenue of $7.5 billion.

With its continued expansion, the company has drawn antitrust lawsuits and the attention of federal and state investigators.

In June, it agreed to pay $268 million to French authorities and change the way its online advertising works to settle an antitrust case filed in 2019 alleging that the technology company abused its dominant position in the industry.

In February, French authorities fined it $1.3 million for misleading consumers with its hotel and tourist destination ratings.

In September 2019, Google agreed to pay more than $1 billion to French tax authorities in order to resolve a long-running tax dispute.

The EU fined Alphabet $1.7 billion in March 2019 for anticompetitive practices. This follows previous antitrust disputes in 2017 and 2018, which resulted in total fines of $7.8 billion levied against the company.

Last year, the US Department of Justice and 11 state governments sued Google for “illegally maintaining monopolies in the market” for online searches, stifling competition.

  • The National News