Amazon is hot on the heels of Apple
Following the news in August that Apple became the world’s first ever trillion dollar business, Amazon has today reached the same milestone, just weeks later.
The Seattle born company founded in 1994 by Jeff Bezos – the world’s richest man – momentarily slipped into the US$1tr value when shares rose by 2% to US$2,050.50. The rise in shares follows a record quarter for sales which reached US$53bn.
The growth of Amazon has certainly been remarkable, with Bezos starting the company in his garage using his parents’ money and some savings. Since then, Bezos has shaped a company with a workforce comparable to that of the population of Luxembourg, is responsible for almost half of all US online sales and which reported revenue of US$178bn in 2017.
In an article from BBC News Neil Saunders, managing director of Global Data Retail, commented: "To reach a market capitalisation of over $1tn is impressive. To do it in a little over 24 years is extraordinary. That Amazon has achieved this demonstrates its dramatic advancement in both the retail and technology sectors, as well as the influence it now wields over large parts of the consumer landscape."
Amazon has successfully evolved from primarily being an online marketplace to becoming one of the world’s most powerful companies with its fingers in many pies, including everything from publishing to web services. And the power and wealth of Amazon and Bezos has not gone without concern. Time reveals that, according to PayScale.com, Jeff Bezos earns the average wage of an Amazon employee every 26 seconds. His rapid accumulation of wealth raises serious questions about employee fairness and equality.
There is no question as to the influence and control of trillion dollar companies like Apple and Amazon which continue to grow indefinitely – but should this be a cause for concern? Many think yes.
Amazon, for example, has recently moved into the healthcare market with the purchase of online pharmacy PillPack and joint partnership healthcare venture between Amazon, Berkshire Hathaway and JPMorgan. The worry for some is that as companies’ acquire more and more wealth they will naturally begin to takeover, eventually controlling whole markets and sectors.
The question now is which company will be the next to break the US$1tr mark, and what might this mean for the future of commerce and ultimately wider society?