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Amazon Wins Without Even Trying

  • August 01, 2020

Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg said a few months ago that the way his company makes money — selling ads to a local bakery or an online luggage maker — tends to naturally rise and fall in tune with the economy. That’s generally true, but not right now. The economy is tanking at its worst rate in many decades. Facebook’s advertising sales are fine.

What has been bad for the United States hasn’t yet been bad for Big Tech. Is, then, what’s good for Big Tech good for the country? I’m not sure.

There’s an axiom in technology that change happens gradually, then suddenly. Tech companies can seem unbeatable until they aren’t — often because of some rapid evolutionary change. It happened to Nokia and Sun Microsystems — whose old headquarters was taken over by Facebook in a symbol of one empire replacing a crumbled one.

So could there be a Fall of Rome moment for today’s tech superpowers? Yes, in theory, and we might never see it coming. Right now, though, despite broader economic pains and a growing backlash to their power, these four American tech superpowers appear to be as close to invulnerable as you can get.

We’ve spent a lot of time this week talking about the congressional antitrust hearing and potential abuses of power by Big Tech. We want to change things up a bit and hear from our readers.

Tell us about one tech invention of the past decade that makes your life fabulous, or at least easier, and why.

A reader in Allentown, Pa., Arthur Weinrach, inspired us, writing in to mention the many technological changes that he’s grateful for, including the E-Z Pass.

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