Big Tech, hit by the pandemic, reports mixed earnings

Big Tech companies reported mixed quarterly earnings on Thursday, a day after their top executives faced a tough congressional grilling over their market power and alleged monopolistic practices

Big Tech companies reported mixed quarterly earnings on Thursday, a day after their top executives faced a tough congressional grilling over their market power and alleged monopolistic practices.

Alphabet, Google’s holding company, reported its first-ever drop in quarterly revenue compared to the prior year. Although it was only a 2% decline, it was a telling sign of a downturn in the digital ad market while also serving as a reminder that the economy is struggling even more than it did more than a decade ago during the Great Recession (Google’’s low point during that time came during the second quarter of 2009 when its revenue edged up by just 3%. Alphabet’s profit for its most recent quarter plunged 30% to $6.7 billion.

Facebook, which also makes most of its money from digital ads, recorded an 11% increase in revenue from the prior year, the social networking company’s slowest growth since going public eight years ago. The company’s profit nearly doubled to rougly $6 billion from the same time last year. Part of the big jump stemmed from special charges last year.

Amazon stood as a notable exception the stay-at-home orders and pandemic fears have help boost sales from its e-commerce sales, although the money that the company is pouring into making its distribution system is at least temporarily depressing its profits. The company's earnings also roughly doubled to $5.2 billion while revenue soared 40% to $88.9 billion.