Amazon, Facebook, Google and Apple see profits climb

The big four technology firms have produced a record £29billion in profits and £177billion of sales during the coronavirus pandemic. 

In a blowout set of earnings, Amazon, Apple, Google, and Facebook all reported quarterly results within minutes of each other – unveiling combined revenues of £177billion ($220.28billion) and profits of £29billion ($38billion) for July to September.

The figures stand in stark contrast to the fortunes of many traditional businesses, which have been devastated by the Covid-19 crisis, as consumers flock online to buy goods and switch to working from home. 

Big Tech's earnings are also continuing to soar despite increased regulatory scrutiny across the four companies - including federal antitrust charges against Google's parent company Alphabet Inc and user and advertiser boycotts of Facebook Inc. 

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos is seen in a file photo. The company on Thursday reported record sales and profits for the quarter ended in September

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos is seen in a file photo. The company on Thursday reported record sales and profits for the quarter ended in September

Amazon shares initially rose 2 per cent in after-hours trading, but then slumped 1 per cent as the company forecast £3.97billion ($4 billion) in COVID-19 related costs for the fourth quarter

Amazon shares initially rose 2 per cent in after-hours trading, but then slumped 1 per cent as the company forecast £3.97billion ($4 billion) in COVID-19 related costs for the fourth quarter

Making a fortune: Jeff Bezos – pictured with partner Lauren Sanchez

Making a fortune: Jeff Bezos – pictured with partner Lauren Sanchez

On Wednesday, a day before the earnings were published, Republican senators in a virtual Senate commerce committee tongue-lashed Facebook, Google and Twitter, accusing them of censoring conservative content on their platforms.  

Google has also been sued by the Department of Justice for anti-competitive behaviour and Apple is being watched after it emerged that it was charging a premium for companies to advertise through its App Store.   

Amazon said yesterday that its sales surged 37 per cent for the quarter to a record $96.2 billion (£74.4billion), generating a $6.3 billion (£4.87billion) profit, roughly three times its profits from the same period last year. 

Shares in iPhone maker Apple fell by more than four per cent as the firm reported a one per cent rise in revenues to £50billion ($64.7 billion) and a seven per cent drop in profits to £9.8billion ($7billion). 

This was slightly better than expectations but Apple did not offer any forecasts of sales for Christmas, leaving investors in the dark about how well the firm thinks its new iPhone 12 handset will sell. 

Handout photo issued by Apple of Tim Cook during the Apple Event for the unveiling of the iPhone 12 Pro, which was introduced along with the iPhone 12 Pro Max by the technology company earlier this month

Handout photo issued by Apple of Tim Cook during the Apple Event for the unveiling of the iPhone 12 Pro, which was introduced along with the iPhone 12 Pro Max by the technology company earlier this month 

Shares in iPhone maker Apple also fell by more than four per cent as the firm reported a one per cent rise in revenues to £50billion and a seven per cent drop in profits to £9.8billion

Shares in iPhone maker Apple also fell by more than four per cent

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