7 Facts About How Mind-Bogglingly Rich US Tech Companies Have Become

Everyone knows the tech industry is rich, but it can be challenging to get your head around just how much money it's minting. Four of the industry's giants — Facebook, Microsoft, Amazon and Google parent Alphabet — reported unexpectedly large profits this week. (Amazon's profit more than doubled Thursday.) A fifth, Apple, releases earnings on Tuesday. These companies are the largest on Earth, at least in terms of their market value. But their raw financial figures only tell you so much. Here are seven facts you might not know about the lucre the technology industry is rolling in.

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Mark Zuckerberg made $6.6 billion on Thursday, April 26, 2018, the day after Facebook reported earnings. The company's stock jumped 9 percent on the news; the Facebook co-founder owned 457.1 million shares as of Dec. 31.n

nOf course, that cuts both ways. When Facebook's stock slid 8 percent in a day after the Cambridge Analytica privacy scandal broke, Zuckerberg lost more than $6 billion.
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The five largest tech companies are collectively worth more than the entire economy of the United Kingdom — currently in the middle of Brexit, which the demonstrator seen above was protesting outside the British Houses of Parliament on March 29, 2018, in London. Investors value these companies at $3.5 trillion; the gross domestic product of the U.K. was $2.6 trillion in 2017, according to the International Monetary Fund . Only four national economies are larger than the combined tech giants: those of the U.S., China, Japan and Germany.n

nThe same five tech companies are worth more than the next 11 most valuable U.S. corporations, a list that includes JPMorgan Chase, Johnson & Johnson and Walmart.
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Apple makes roughly as much money every day as 2,500 average U.S. households can expect to see in a year. That's $151 million, a figure calculated from the company's expected profit in the January-March quarter and the median household income of $57,230 reported by the Census Bureau.n

nFor a more prosaic comparison, Apple makes almost three times what ExxonMobil does; the oil giant had an average daily profit of $54 million last year.
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While you were looking at baby pictures or stalking your ex yesterday, Facebook made $1.6 million. The average user spends 42 minutes a day on the service, according to eMarketer estimates. Facebook's profits were almost $5 billion in the first quarter — $56 million a day, $2.3 million an hour, $39,000 a minute.
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Jaap Arriens/NurPhoto via Getty Images, File
Mark Zuckerberg made $6.6 billion on Thursday, April 26, 2018, the day after Facebook reported earnings. The company's stock jumped 9 percent on the news; the Facebook co-founder owned 457.1 million shares as of Dec. 31.n

nOf course, that cuts both ways. When Facebook's stock slid 8 percent in a day after the Cambridge Analytica privacy scandal broke, Zuckerberg lost more than $6 billion.
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Getty Images
With a single move, Amazon could create $2 billion out of thin air. The company just said it will raise the annual price of its Prime membership program to $119 from $99. Given that there are now over 100 million Prime members — and assuming they don't flee— that's a good chunk of change for sliding a few digits around.
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Getty Images/Spencer Platt
The two big tech companies you almost never pay directly — Google (its New York office is seen above) and Facebook — can afford to offer you free services thanks to their hammerlock on digital advertising. The two will sell an estimated $61 billion in U.S. online ads this year, according to the research firm eMarketer.n

nThat's more than a quarter of expected U.S. spending on all forms of advertising ($221 billion). All of it is in the hands of just two companies.
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This file photo shows former Apple CEO Steve Jobs give a presentation in France. If you'd put $10,000 into Apple stock in September 1997 when co-founder Steve Jobs came back as CEO, your stake would be worth $2.1 million today.
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