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

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

Photo credit: Mark Wilson / Getty Images
  • 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."

Is the universe a graveyard? This theory suggests humanity may be alone.

Ever since we've had the technology, we've looked to the stars in search of alien life. It's assumed that we're looking because we want to find other life in the universe, but what if we're looking to make sure there isn't any?

According to the Great Filter theory, Earth might be one of the only planets with intelligent life. And that's a good thing (NASA, ESA, and the Hubble Heritage Team [STScI/AURA]).
Surprising Science

Here's an equation, and a rather distressing one at that: N = R* × fP × ne × f1 × fi × fc × L. It's the Drake equation, and it describes the number of alien civilizations in our galaxy with whom we might be able to communicate. Its terms correspond to values such as the fraction of stars with planets, the fraction of planets on which life could emerge, the fraction of planets that can support intelligent life, and so on. Using conservative estimates, the minimum result of this equation is 20. There ought to be 20 intelligent alien civilizations in the Milky Way that we can contact and who can contact us. But there aren't any.

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The key to better quality education? Make students feel valued.

Building a personal connection with students can counteract some negative side effects of remote learning.

Future of Learning
  • Not being able to engage with students in-person due to the pandemic has presented several new challenges for educators, both technical and social. Digital tools have changed the way we all think about learning, but George Couros argues that more needs to be done to make up for what has been lost during "emergency remote teaching."
  • One interesting way he has seen to bridge that gap and strengthen teacher-student and student-student relationships is through an event called Identity Day. Giving students the opportunity to share something they are passionate about makes them feel more connected and gets them involved in their education.
  • "My hope is that we take these skills and these abilities we're developing through this process and we actually become so much better for our kids when we get back to our face-to-face setting," Couros says. He adds that while no one can predict the future, we can all do our part to adapt to it.
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Study details the negative environmental impact of online shopping

Frequent shopping for single items adds to our carbon footprint.

A truck pulls out of a large Walmart regional distribution center on June 6, 2019 in Washington, Utah.

Photo by George Frey/Getty Images
Politics & Current Affairs
  • A new study shows e-commerce sites like Amazon leave larger greenhouse gas footprints than retail stores.
  • Ordering online from retail stores has an even smaller footprint than going to the store yourself.
  • Greening efforts by major e-commerce sites won't curb wasteful consumer habits. Consolidating online orders can make a difference.
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Personal Growth

Childhood sleeping problems may signal mental disorders later in life

Chronic irregular sleep in children was associated with psychotic experiences in adolescence, according to a recent study out of the University of Birmingham's School of Psychology.

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