Opinion: $1.4 trillion ? Big Tech’s pandemic year produces mind-boggling financial results

Big Tech headed into 2021 with more than nine months of pandemic experience, but were still surprised by the extent of supply-chain disruptions, labor shortages and rising prices.

Despite these challenges, their financial performance has been staggering: Google parent Alphabet Inc.

Amazon.com Inc.
Apple Inc.
Facebook parent Meta Platforms Inc.

and Microsoft Corp.

individually and collectively put up record profit and revenue all around in 2021.

Collectively, the companies topped $1.4 trillion in revenue — which would rank 13th in gross domestic product as a nation, just behind Brazil and ahead of Australia, according to World Bank figures — and they generated $320 billion in profit based on Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP).

For some context on that profit figure: Apple, the most valuable company in U.S. history thanks to a series of amazing profits, took 37 years as a public company — 1980 through 2017 — to collect that much profit in total. Yet the iPhone manufacturer contributed the largest portion of 2021’s technology sector profit, topping $100 billion for the first time, a figure that itself eclipses the total profit Apple collected in its first three decades on the market.

Make no mistake, this is…

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