HOME

TheInfoList




Big Tech, also known as the Tech Giants, the Big Four, and the Big Five, is a name given to the five largest and most dominant companies in the information technology industry of the
United States The United States of America (U.S.A. or USA), commonly known as the United States (U.S. or US) or America, is a country Continental United States, primarily located in North America. It consists of 50 U.S. state, states, a Washington, D.C., ...

United States
—namely
Amazon Amazon usually refers to: * Amazons In Greek mythology, the Amazons (Ancient Greek: Ἀμαζόνες ''Amazónes'', singular Ἀμαζών ''Amazōn'') are portrayed in a number of ancient Greek, ancient epic poems and legends, such as the ...
,
Apple An apple is an edible fruit In botany Botany, also called , plant biology or phytology, is the science of plant life and a branch of biology. A botanist, plant scientist or phytologist is a scientist who specialises in this fie ...
,
Facebook Facebook is an American online social media and social networking service owned by Meta Platforms. Founded in 2004 by Mark Zuckerberg with fellow Harvard College students and roommates Eduardo Saverin, Andrew McCollum, Dustin Moskovitz, an ...
,
Google Google LLC is an American multinational Multinational may refer to: * Multinational corporation, a corporate organization operating in multiple countries * Multinational force, a military body from multiple countries * Multinational stat ...

Google
, and
Microsoft Microsoft Corporation is an American multinational corporation, multinational technology company, technology corporation which produces Software, computer software, consumer electronics, personal computers, and related services. Its best-know ...

Microsoft
. These companies have been among the most valuable public companies globally, each having had a maximum
market capitalization Market capitalization, commonly called market cap, is the market value of a publicly traded company A public company, publicly traded company, publicly held company, publicly listed company, or public limited company A public limited compan ...
ranging from around $500 billion to around $2 trillion USD. Concerns over
monopolistic
monopolistic
practices have led to
antitrust Competition law is a law Law is a system A system is a group of Interaction, interacting or interrelated elements that act according to a set of rules to form a unified whole. A system, surrounded and influenced by its environmen ...
investigations from the
Department of Justice A justice ministry, ministry of justice, or department of justice is a ministry or other government agency A government or state agency, sometimes an appointed commission, is a permanent or semi-permanent organization in the machinery of governme ...
and
Federal Trade Commission The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is an Independent agencies of the United States government, independent agency of the United States government whose principal mission is the enforcement of civil (non-criminal) U.S. antitrust law and the promot ...

Federal Trade Commission
in the United States, and the
European Commission The European Commission (EC) is the executive branch The executive is the branch of government exercising authority in and holding Moral responsibility, responsibility for the governance of a State (polity), state. The executive executes a ...

European Commission
. Commentators have questioned the impact of these companies on privacy, market power, free speech and censorship, and national security and law enforcement. It has been speculated that it may not be possible to live in the digital world day-to-day outside of the ecosystem created by the companies. It has been observed that the companies remain popular by providing their services to consumers for free.


Membership and definitions

The term ''Big Tech'' is often broken down into more specific sub-groupings, often referred to by the following names or acronyms.
Alphabet Inc. Alphabet Inc. is an American multinational conglomerate Conglomerate or conglomeration may refer to: * Conglomerate (company) * Conglomerate (geology) * Conglomerate (mathematics) In popular culture: * The Conglomerate (American group), a pro ...
, the parent company of
Google Google LLC is an American multinational Multinational may refer to: * Multinational corporation, a corporate organization operating in multiple countries * Multinational force, a military body from multiple countries * Multinational stat ...

Google
, is often abbreviated using a "G" in these acronyms.


The Four

Alphabet (Google),
Amazon Amazon usually refers to: * Amazons In Greek mythology, the Amazons (Ancient Greek: Ἀμαζόνες ''Amazónes'', singular Ἀμαζών ''Amazōn'') are portrayed in a number of ancient Greek, ancient epic poems and legends, such as the ...
,
Facebook Facebook is an American online social media and social networking service owned by Meta Platforms. Founded in 2004 by Mark Zuckerberg with fellow Harvard College students and roommates Eduardo Saverin, Andrew McCollum, Dustin Moskovitz, an ...

Facebook
, and
Apple An apple is an edible fruit In botany Botany, also called , plant biology or phytology, is the science of plant life and a branch of biology. A botanist, plant scientist or phytologist is a scientist who specialises in this fie ...
are commonly referred to as "GAFA". They've also been colloquially referred to as the "Big Four",, or as the "Four Horsemen" (after the
Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse 300px, '' Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse'', an 1887 painting by Viktor Vasnetsov. From left to right are Death, Famine, War, and Conquest; the Lamb of God, Lamb is at the top. The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse (often referred to as the Four H ...

Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse
) . Former Google CEO
Eric Schmidt Eric Emerson Schmidt (born April 27, 1955) is an American businessman, and software engineer. He is known for being the CEO of Google from 2001 to 2011, chairman, executive chairman of Google from 2011 to 2015, executive chairman of Alphabet I ...

Eric Schmidt
, author
Phil Simon Phil Simon (born ca. 1972) is an American speaker, professor Professor (commonly abbreviated as Prof.) is an academic An academy (Attic Greek: Ἀκαδήμεια; Koine Greek Ἀκαδημία) is an institution of secondary education, s ...
, and NYU professor Scott Galloway have each grouped the GAFA companies together, on the basis that those companies have driven major societal change via their dominance and role in online activities. This is unlike other large tech companies such as
Microsoft Microsoft Corporation is an American multinational corporation, multinational technology company, technology corporation which produces Software, computer software, consumer electronics, personal computers, and related services. Its best-know ...

Microsoft
and
IBM International Business Machines Corporation (IBM) is an American multinational technology company headquartered in Armonk, New York, with operations in over 170 countries. The company began in 1911, founded in Endicott, New York, as the C ...

IBM
, according to Simon and Galloway. Eric Schmidt has excluded Microsoft from the grouping, noting that "Microsoft is not driving the consumer revolution in the minds of the consumers."


GAFAM or FAAMG

A more inclusive grouping referred to as GAFAM, the Big Five, or FAAMG, defines Alphabet, Amazon, Facebook, Apple, and Microsoft as the tech giants. Besides
Saudi Aramco Saudi Aramco ( ar, أرامكو السعودية '), officially the Saudi Arabian Oil Company (formerly Arabian-American Oil Company), is a Saudi Arabia (''Shahada'') , national_anthem = "National Anthem of Saudi Arabia, " "Nation ...
, the GAFAM companies were the five most valuable public corporations in the world in January as measured by market capitalization. Nikos Smyrnaios justified the GAFAM grouping as an
oligopoly An oligopoly (from Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in Southeast Europe. Its population is approximately 10.7 mi ...
that appears to take control of the Internet by concentrating market power, financial power and using
patent A patent is a type of intellectual property Intellectual property (IP) is a category of property Property is a system of rights that gives people legal control of valuable things, and also refers to the valuable things themselves. Depe ...

patent
rights and
copyright Copyright is a type of intellectual property Intellectual property (IP) is a category of property Property is a system of rights that gives people legal control of valuable things, and also refers to the valuable things themselves. ...

copyright
within a context of
capitalism Capitalism is an economic system An economic system, or economic order, is a system A system is a group of interacting Interaction is a kind of action that occurs as two or more objects have an effect upon one another. The idea o ...

capitalism
. Sometimes, the Big Five are referred to as the FAAAM stocks, where the letters are rearranged and Alphabet is abbreviated using an "A" instead of a "G."


FAANG

FAANG refers to the five prominent American technology companies: Facebook, Amazon, Apple,
Netflix Netflix, Inc. is an American subscription The subscription business model is a business model in which a customer In sales Sales are activities related to selling or the number of goods sold in a given targeted time period. Th ...

Netflix
, and Alphabet (GOOG). The term was coined by
Jim Cramer James Joseph Cramer (born February 10, 1955) is an American television personality and host of '' Mad Money'' on CNBC. He is a former hedge fund manager as well as an author and a co-founder of TheStreet.com. Early life Cramer was born in 19 ...
, the television host of
CNBC CNBC is an American pay television Pay television, also known as subscription television, premium television or, when referring to an individual service, a premium channel, refers to subscription The subscription business model is a busi ...
's
Mad Money ''Mad Money'' is an American American(s) may refer to: * American, something of, from, or related to the United States of America, commonly known as the United States The United States of America (USA), commonly known as the United ...
in 2013, calling these companies "totally dominant in their markets." Until 2017, FANG was limited to Facebook, Amazon, Netflix, and Alphabet. Another variant of this acronym is "FANGAM," which includes Microsoft.


BATX

"BATX" refers specifically to the largest internet companies in China:
Baidu Baidu, Inc. (, meaning "a hundred times" or "a hundred degrees", anglicized ) is a Chinese multinational specializing in Internet-related services and products and (AI), headquartered in 's . It is one of the largest AI and Internet compan ...
,
Alibaba Ali Baba (character), Ali Baba is a character from the folk tale ''Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves''. Ali Baba may also refer to: Films * Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves (1902 film), ''Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves'' (1902 film), a French film di ...
,
Tencent Tencent Holdings Ltd., also known as Tencent, is a Chinese multinational entertainment conglomerate and holdings company, and it is the largest gaming company in the world. Its social application WeChat had 1.225 billion monthly active users ...
, and
Xiaomi Xiaomi Corporation (; ), registered in Asia as Xiaomi Inc., is a Chinese designer and manufacturer of consumer electronics Consumer electronics or home electronics are electronic Electronic may refer to: *Electronics Electronics ...

Xiaomi
. BATX are among the first tech companies started in the 2000s during the Chinese tech revolution, and became widely used among Chinese netizens. Other Chinese tech companies like
Huawei Huawei Technologies Co., Ltd. ( ; ) is a Chinese multinational corporation, multinational technology company, technology corporation headquartered in Shenzhen, Guangdong, China. It designs, develops and sells telecommunications equipment, cons ...
,
DiDi Didi may refer to: Arts and entertainment * "Didi" (song), a song by Khaled * Didi, the principal character in '' Didi's Comedy Show'', a German comedy television show * Didi Pickles, mother of Tommy and Dil in the cartoons ''Rugrats'' and ''Al ...
,
JD.com JD.com, Inc. (), also known as Jingdong and formerly called 360buy, is a Chinese e-commerce E-commerce (electronic commerce) is the activity of electronically The field of electronics is a branch of physics and electrical engineering that d ...
and
ByteDance ByteDance Ltd. () is a multinational Multinational may refer to: * Multinational corporation, a corporate organization operating in multiple countries * Multinational force, a military body from multiple countries * Multinational state, a sover ...
started later and seek to challenge the biggest tech giants.


Market dominance

By 2017, Amazon was the dominant market leader in
e-commerce E-commerce (electronic commerce) is the activity of electronically buying or selling of Product (business), products on online services or over the Internet. E-commerce draws on technologies such as mobile commerce, electronic funds transfer, su ...

e-commerce
with 50% of all online sales going through the platform;
cloud computing Cloud computing is the on-demand availability of computer A computer is a machine that can be programmed to carry out sequences of arithmetic or logical operations automatically. Modern computers can perform generic sets of operatio ...
, with nearly 32% market share, and
live-streaming Livestreaming refers to online streaming media simultaneously recorded and broadcast in real-time. It is often referred to simply as streaming, but this abbreviated term is ambiguous because "streaming" may refer to any media delivered and played ...
with
Twitch Twitch may refer to: Physiology * Muscle contraction ** Convulsion, rapid and repeated muscle contraction and relaxation ** Fasciculation, a small, local, involuntary muscle contraction ** Myoclonic twitch, a jerk usually caused by sudden muscle c ...
owning 75.6% market share. Amazon is additionally the market leader in the area of
artificial Intelligence Artificial intelligence (AI) is intelligence Intelligence has been defined in many ways: the capacity for abstraction Abstraction in its main sense is a conceptual process where general rules and concept Concepts are defined as abstra ...

artificial Intelligence
-based personal digital assistants and
smart speaker A smart speaker is a type of loudspeaker and voice command device with an integrated virtual assistant (artificial intelligence), virtual assistant that offers interactive actions and Hands-free computing, hands-free activation with the help of o ...
s (
Amazon Echo Amazon Echo (shortened to Echo) is a brand of smart speakers developed by Amazon (company), Amazon. Echo devices connect to the voice-controlled Virtual assistant, intelligent personal assistant service ''Amazon Alexa, Alexa'', which will respond ...

Amazon Echo
) with 69% market share followed by Google (
Google Nest Google Nest is a line of smart home ''SMart'' was a British CBBC CBBC (short for Children's BBC, also known as the CBBC Channel) is a British free-to-air children's television Children's television series are television programs design ...
) at 25% market share. Apple sells high-margin
smartphone A smartphone is a portable device A mobile device (or handheld computer) is a computer A computer is a machine that can be programmed to carry out sequences of arithmetic or logical operations automatically. Modern computers can per ...

smartphone
s and other consumer electronics devices, sharing a duopoly with Google in the field of
mobile operating system A mobile operating system is an operating system An operating system (OS) is system software System software is software designed to provide a platform for other software. Examples of system software include operating systems like macOS ...
s: 27% of the market share belonging to Apple (
iOS iOS (formerly iPhone OS) is a mobile operating system A mobile operating system is an operating system An operating system (OS) is system software System software is software designed to provide a platform for other software. Examples o ...

iOS
) and 72% to Google (
Android Android may refer to: Science and technology * Android (robot), a humanoid robot or synthetic organism designed to imitate a human * Android (operating system), Google's mobile operating system ** Android (operating system)#Mascot, Unnamed Androi ...

Android
). Google, Facebook and Amazon have been referred to as the "Big Three" of digital advertising. In addition to
social networking A social networking service or SNS (sometimes called a social networking site) is an online platform which people use to build social networks or social relation In social science, a social relation or social interaction is any relationship ...
, Facebook also dominates the functions of online
image sharing Image sharing, or photo sharing, is the publishing or transfer of digital photos online. Image sharing websites offer services such as uploading, hosting, managing and sharing of photos (publicly or privately). This function is provided through ...
(
Instagram Instagram is an American photo 396x396px, '' View from the Window at Le Gras'' (1826 or 1827), by Nicéphore Niépce, the earliest known surviving photograph of a real-world scene, made with a camera obscura. Original (left) & Film coloriz ...

Instagram
) and online
messaging A message is a discrete unit of communication Communication (from Latin ''communicare'', meaning "to share") is the act of developing Semantics, meaning among Subject (philosophy), entities or Organization, groups through the use of suffi ...

messaging
(
WhatsApp WhatsApp Messenger, or simply WhatsApp, is an American freeware, cross-platform Centralized computing, centralized instant messaging (IM) and Voice over IP, voice-over-IP (VoIP) service owned by Meta Platforms. It allows users to send text messa ...

WhatsApp
). Google is the leader in
online search Online search is the process of interactively searching for and retrieving requested information via a computer from databases that are online. Interactive searches became possible in the 1980s with the advent of faster databases and smart terminals ...
(
Google Search Google Search (also known simply as Google), is a search engine A search engine is a software system A software system is a system of intercommunicating software component, components based on forming part of a computer system (a combin ...
), online
video sharing Video is an electronic medium for the recording, copying, playback, broadcasting Broadcasting is the distribution of sound, audio or video content to a dispersed audience via any electronic medium (communication), mass communications med ...
(
YouTube YouTube is an American online video sharing and social media platform Social media are interactive technologies that allow the Content creation, creation or information sharing, sharing/exchange of information, ideas, career interests, an ...

YouTube
) and online mapping-based navigation (
Google Maps Google Maps is a web mapping Web most often refers to: * Spider web, a silken structure created by the animal * World Wide Web upright=1.35, A global map of the web index for countries in 2014 The World Wide Web (WWW), commonly know ...

Google Maps
). Microsoft continues to dominate in desktop
operating system An operating system (OS) is system software System software is software designed to provide a platform for other software. Examples of system software include operating systems (OS) like macOS, Linux, Android (operating system), Android and Mi ...

operating system
market share (
Microsoft Windows Microsoft Windows, commonly referred to as Windows, is a group of several proprietary {{Short pages monitor