​Amazon becomes world’s most valuable brand, beating Google and Apple

The report comes amid calls for antitrust investigations into big tech.

  • Amazon's brand is valued at $315.5 billion, according to BrandZ Top 100 Most Valuable Global Brand ranking 2019.
  • Apple comes second at $309.5 billion, and Google is third at $309 billion.
  • "There is something going on in terms of monopoly," President Donald Trump said on Monday, referring to big tech companies.

With a brand value of $315.5 billion, Amazon is now more valuable than Apple and Google, according to BrandZ Top 100 Most Valuable Global Brand ranking 2019.

"It was not a surprise, but it was not inevitable," wrote BrandZ CEO David Roth, adding that few could have predicted the company's success when it was just an online bookseller in the 1990s. Roth added: "With its devotion to removing friction from every part of the customer experience, Amazon has changed what consumers expect from brands. With its pioneering efforts in cloud computing, Amazon has changed what businesses expect from their suppliers and partners."

Apple comes second at $309.5 billion, and Google is third at $309 billion. BrandZ bases its annual report on companies' financial performance, using data from Kantar Worldpanel, and interviews with millions of consumers.

One reason Amazon tops the list is because it's dominating a variety of retail categories, Doreen Wang, Kantar's global head of BrandZ, told CNBC.

"Amazon's phenomenal brand value growth of almost $108 billion in the last year demonstrates how brands are now less anchored to individual categories and regions," she said. "The boundaries are blurring as technology fluency allow brands, such as Amazon, Google and Alibaba, to offer a range of services across multiple consumer touchpoints."

Amazon has been positioning itself to become much more than an online retailer. In the past year, the company has invested billions of dollars in new ventures, including self-driving car start-up Aurora, online pharmacy PillPack, food-delivery company Deliveroo, a new headquarters, electric truck start-up Rivian, and Project Kuiper, which would provide high-speed internet service via thousands of satellites.

"Brands need to understand the value this type of model can create and should embrace its approach to be successful in the future," Roth told CNBC.

But some — namely, President Donald Trump — have expressed concern over the mammoth success of companies like Amazon, Google, Apple and Facebook.

"There is something going on in terms of monopoly," Trump told CNBC on Monday.

Last week, reports suggested that the Federal Trade Commission and the Department of Justice could soon open antitrust investigations into big tech companies. This increased scrutiny seems to be coming from both sides of the aisle.

Amazon responded to Warren: "And sellers aren't being 'knocked out' - they're seeing record sales every year."

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The pizza giant Domino's partners with a Silicon Valley startup to start delivering pizza by robots.

Nuro
Technology & Innovation
  • Domino's partnered with the Silicon Valley startup Nuro to have robot cars deliver pizza.
  • The trial run will begin in Houston later this year.
  • The robots will be half a regular car and will need to be unlocked by a PIN code.

Would you have to tip robots? You might be answering that question sooner than you think as Domino's is about to start using robots for delivering pizza. Later this year a fleet of self-driving robotic vehicles will be spreading the joy of pizza throughout the Houston area for the famous pizza manufacturer, using delivery cars made by the Silicon Valley startup Nuro.

The startup, founded by Google veterans, raised $940 million in February and has already been delivering groceries for Kroger around Houston. Partnering with the pizza juggernaut Domino's, which delivers close to 3 million pizzas a day, is another logical step for the expanding drone car business.

Kevin Vasconi of Domino's explained in a press release that they see these specially-designed robots as "a valuable partner in our autonomous vehicle journey," adding "The opportunity to bring our customers the choice of an unmanned delivery experience, and our operators an additional delivery solution during a busy store rush, is an important part of our autonomous vehicle testing."

How will they work exactly? Nuro explained in its own press release that this "opportunity to use Nuro's autonomous delivery" will be available for some of the customers who order online. Once they opt in, they'll be able to track the car via an app. When the vehicle gets to them, the customers will use a special PIN code to unlock the pizza compartment.

Nuro and its competitors Udelv and Robomart have been focusing specifically on developing such "last-mile product delivery" machines, reports Arstechnica. Their specially-made R1 vehicle is about half the size of a regular passenger car and doesn't offer any room for a driver. This makes it safer and lighter too, with less potential to cause harm in case of an accident. It also sticks to a fairly low speed of under 25 miles an hour and slams on the breaks at the first sign of trouble.

What also helps such robot cars is "geofencing" technology which confines them to a limited area surrounding the store.

For now, the cars are still tracked around the neighborhoods by human-driven vehicles, with monitors to make sure nothing goes haywire. But these "chase cars" should be phased out eventually, an important milestone in the evolution of your robot pizza drivers.

Check out how Nuro's vehicles work: