— January 24, 2021
By Lawrence White
Why all this attention now? For one thing, the so-called digital platform companies have grown so large and so prominent that they seem omnipresent. Amazon (with some 800,000 employees) is the second-largest employer in the United States (behind only Walmart, at 2.2 million worldwide, which is racing to become an online megastore, too).
As of last fall, the five largest U.S. companies by market capitalization — Apple, Amazon, Microsoft, Facebook and Google’s parent, Alphabet, with a combined value exceeding $7 trillion! — were all digital. Their rising share of online activity, with its hard-to-pindown impact on prices, profits and income distribution, has alarmed experts across the political spectrum.
Read the full Milken Institute Review article.
Lawrence White is the Robert Kavesh Professorship in Economics and the Deputy Chair, Economics.