It was once Amazon. com Inc. only sold books, Apple Inc. sold computers, and Google was just a search engine. These days are long gone, and each of these companies – as well as Microsoft Corp. and Facebook Inc. – has become a technical behemoth.
Big Tech’s critics say the industry’s giants have too much power over the lives of Internet users. Companies often claim in response that they face enormous competition, often from each other, and need to continue to innovate in order to remain relevant.
Reality, as these maps show, is an interplay between collaboration and competition that helps to shape the scope and nature of Big Tech’s influence. And that interaction is evolving, as companies increasingly intervene in each other̵
Technical giants have both protected themselves from competing threats and opened up new battlefields by using their size and resources to acquire smaller companies and talent to expand their product lines and services.
Although growth has helped them become less dependent on partners, the changing landscape has created some bitter rivalries. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and Apple CEO Tim Cook have slammed each other in statements on issues ranging from privacy to app marketing fees. Google and Microsoft executives have recently traded barbs over their practice of hosting news content and paying publishers.