Big Tech companies are revealing record profits for the second quarter of 2021.
Over the past weeks, many firms’ earnings significantly surpassed analysts’ predictions — in large part due to the return of consumer demand following COVID-19 and the lockdown-induced recession.
- Earnings: $0.20 per share versus $0.07 expected
- Revenue: $1.19 billion versus $1.07 billion expected
- Earnings: $1.30 per share versus $1.01 expected
- Revenue: $81.41 billion versus $73.30 billion expected
- Earnings: $27.26 per share versus $19.34 expected
- Revenue: $61.88 billion versus $56.16 billion expected
- Earnings: $15.12 per share versus $12.30 expected
- Revenue: $113.08 billion versus $115.2 billion expected
- Earnings: $3.61 per share versus $3.03 expected
- Revenue: $29.08 billion versus $27.89 billion expected
- Earnings: $2.17 per share versus $1.92 expected
- Revenue: $46.15 billion versus $44.24 billion expected
Twitter witnessed 74% revenue growth between the second quarters of 2020 and 2021 as it saw the number of monetizable daily active users on the platform expand by double digits. Facebook likewise saw an average revenue per user of $10.12, exceeding the $9.66 projected by analysts.
Meanwhile, Apple experienced 50%, 16%, and 12% year-over-year revenue growth for the iPhone, Mac, and iPad, respectively. Google saw 69% ad revenue growth over the same period.
Amazon was the only Big Tech company to slightly miss revenue forecasts.
The record earnings come as federal officials weigh the possibility of enacting new antitrust policies. While Democrats are concerned about the growing power of large corporations in the United States, Republicans emphasize technology platforms’ willingness to censor conservative-leaning content.
Last month, a group of House members from both parties introduced a suite of regulations that would break up Apple, Amazon, Facebook, and Alphabet.
The five bills were as follows:
- The American Innovation and Choice Online Act would prohibit “discriminatory conduct by dominant platforms, including a ban on self-preferencing and picking winners and losers online.”
- The Platform Competition and Opportunity Act prohibits “competitive threats by dominant platforms, as well acquisitions that expand or entrench the market power of online platforms.”
- The Ending Platform Monopolies Act eliminates the ability of dominant platforms to “leverage their control over across multiple business lines to self-preference and disadvantage competitors in ways that undermine free and fair competition.”
- The Augmenting Compatibility and Competition by Enabling Service Switching (ACCESS) Act promotes competition online by “lowering barriers to entry and switching costs for businesses and consumers through interoperability and data portability requirements.”
- The Merger Filing Fee Modernization Act updates filing fees for “mergers for the first time in two decades to ensure that Department of Justice and Federal Trade Commission have the resources they need to aggressively enforce the antitrust laws.”
Many conservative lawmakers are also concerned about the Biden administration’s willingness to coordinate with social media companies to discourage the spread of purported “misinformation.”
On Monday, nine Republican senators sent a letter demanding specifics on the administration’s policy, as recently unveiled by White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki:
The public is already aware of efforts by the media and the executive branch to silence information that is unflattering to this Administration under the guise of “disinformation.” For example, unnamed intelligence officials, the media, and social media platforms engaged in a coordinated effort to censor stories about Hunter Biden’s laptop and his questionable financial dealings under the false label of “disinformation.”
Demanding that the administration “halt any actions it has or is currently undertaking to censor Americans’ speech,” the lawmakers asked President Biden to provide the legal justification for his flagging of misinformation.