Tech Giants Cooperate While Competing, Frenemies for Life
By Bowdeya Tweh and Katherine Riley
Once upon a time, Amazon.com Inc. only sold books, Apple Inc.
sold computers, and Google was just a search engine. Those days are
long gone, and each of those companies -- as well as Microsoft
Corp. and Facebook Inc. -- has become a tech behemoth.
Big Tech's critics say the industry's giants wield too much
power over the lives of internet users. The companies often argue
in response that they face enormous competition, often from each
other, and need to continue innovating to remain relevant.
The reality, as these charts show, is an interplay of
collaboration and competition that helps to shape the extent and
nature of Big Tech's clout. And that interplay is evolving, as the
companies increasingly encroach on one another's turf to build and
protect their dynasties.
Tech giants have both protected themselves against competitive
threats and opened new battlefronts by using their size and
resources to acquire smaller companies and talent to expand their
product lines and services.
Although that growth has helped them become less reliant on
partners, the shifting landscape has created some bitter rivalries.
Facebook Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg and Apple CEO Tim Cook
have slammed each other in statements over issues ranging from data
privacy to app marketplace fees. Google and Microsoft executives
have recently traded barbs over their practices around hosting news
content and paying publishers.
The bonds among the five companies aren't completely frayed:
They continue to work together on everything from software
development to industry advocacy. Beyond marketing their apps and
products on one another's platforms, the companies, in some
instances, have enmeshed their businesses in ways that have drawn
Write to Bowdeya Tweh at Bowdeya.Tweh@wsj.com
(END) Dow Jones Newswires
April 01, 2021 12:31 ET (16:31 GMT)
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