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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."

Neom, Saudi Arabia's $500 billion megacity, reaches its next phase

Construction of the $500 billion dollar tech city-state of the future is moving ahead.

Credit: Neom
Technology & Innovation
  • The futuristic megacity Neom is being built in Saudi Arabia.
  • The city will be fully automated, leading in health, education and quality of life.
  • It will feature an artificial moon, cloud seeding, robotic gladiators and flying taxis.
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Why do people believe in conspiracy theories?

Are we genetically inclined for superstition or just fearful of the truth?

Videos
  • From secret societies to faked moon landings, one thing that humanity seems to have an endless supply of is conspiracy theories. In this compilation, physicist Michio Kaku, science communicator Bill Nye, psychologist Sarah Rose Cavanagh, skeptic Michael Shermer, and actor and playwright John Cameron Mitchell consider the nature of truth and why some groups believe the things they do.
  • "I think there's a gene for superstition, a gene for hearsay, a gene for magic, a gene for magical thinking," argues Kaku. The theoretical physicist says that science goes against "natural thinking," and that the superstition gene persists because, one out of ten times, it actually worked and saved us.
  • Other theories shared include the idea of cognitive dissonance, the dangerous power of fear to inhibit critical thinking, and Hollywood's romanticization of conspiracies. Because conspiracy theories are so diverse and multifaceted, combating them has not been an easy task for science.

COVID-19 brain study to explore long-term effects of the virus

A growing body of research suggests COVID-19 can cause serious neurological problems.

Brain images of a patient with acute demyelinating encephalomyelitis.

Coronavirus
  • The new study seeks to track the health of 50,000 people who have tested positive for COVID-19.
  • The study aims to explore whether the disease causes cognitive impairment and other conditions.
  • Recent research suggests that COVID-19 can, directly or indirectly, cause brain dysfunction, strokes, nerve damage and other neurological problems.
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Sponsored by Charles Koch Foundation

Better reskilling can future-proof jobs in the age of automation. Enter SkillUp's new coalition.

Coronavirus layoffs are a glimpse into our automated future. We need to build better education opportunities now so Americans can find work in the economy of tomorrow.

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