Google's parent company Alphabet Inc is now worth $1trn.
Alphabet is now the fourth US company to join the elite club, following Apple, Amazon (which has since dropped out) and Microsoft. The eagle-eyed among you may notice something about this list - it’s composed purely of tech companies.
That’s not a worldwide trend - the international companies currently valued at over $1trn are both oil giants: Saudi Aramco and PetroChina. No prizes for guessing from which countries they hail, and both have significant connections to the state. Saudi Aramco is the world’s most valuable company, transcending the $1trn club to achieve a $2trn valuation last December.
American tech companies, however, have experienced a rising tide lifting them up somewhat simultaneously. It’s no coincidence that the four all achieved the sum within a two year period: Apple and Amazon in 2018, Microsoft in 2019 and Google in 2020. Partly that’s down to optimism regarding their ability to monetise free services going forwards.
The financial strength of Alphabet comes amid a number of recent developments, perhaps most crucial being the restructuring of the company’s relationship with Google. Its founders, Larry Page and Sergey Brin, announced last December that they were stepping down from their roles at Alphabet as CEO and President respectively. Google CEO Sundar Pichai assumed joint CEO-ship of both companies and the position of President was abolished, representing something of a realignment of the two companies following the creation of Alphabet in 2015.
Now comes the question of who will be next? The natural contender is the remaining tech giant, Facebook. Despite being hampered by a number of controversies, Facebook’s stock has continued to rise, with the company’s market capitalisation now around $630bn.