A breakdown of Big Tech's big Q2 earnings

Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg Amazon's Jeff Bezos Google owner Alphabet's Sundar Pichai and Apple's Tim Cook- whose companies have a combined market value of about $5 trillion- came under fire from Democrats and Republicans

These companies will release their second quarter results on Thursday. Combined, the companies put up sales of US$200 billion in the three months ended in June, with Amazon reporting a record quarter.

The company reported a net income of USD6.96 billion in Q2.

In the midst of the worst U.S. economic downturn since the Great Depression of the 1930s, Amazon posted the highest profit in its 26-year history.

Google-parent Alphabet, despite also exceeding Wall Street expectations, suffered its first revenue decline since going public.

"This was another highly unusual quarter, and I couldn't be more proud of and grateful to our employees around the globe", said Jeff Bezos, Amazon founder and CEO. In the course of the corona lockdown, the world's largest online mail-order business with its mass business closings performed significantly better than expected by experts.

Amazon meanwhile said profits almost doubled to 5.2 billion USA dollars on sales that climbed 40 percent to 88.9 billion US dollars.

Given a hiring offensive and high investments to cope with the rush of customers in the Corona crisis, Amazon's costs also increased sharply. The group was initially somewhat overwhelmed with the high level of activity in the pandemic, so 175,000 additional employees were hired.

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The technology group Apple reported growth in all sectors and all regions thanks to the increased demand for communication devices in the corona lockdown.

In the latest quarter, Apple posted revenue of $59.7bn, an increase of 11pc from the same quarter previous year. Earnings per share were $ 2.58, compared to an estimate of $ 2.04.

Google's ad business slowed down as the pandemic resulted in tightened advertising budgets, with Google's core search and ad revenue down 9.8pc year over year.

The gross domestic product (GDP) in the USA sank 9.5 percent in the second quarter, as was widely reported on Thursday - on an annualized basis that translates to 32.9 percent, which was the figure most widely publicized.

Overall revenue grew 11 per cent from $16.89bn in Q2 2019 to $18.69bn in Q2 2020.

The cloud computing arm Amazon Web Services (AWS) reported revenues of USD10.81 billion for the quarter, up 29 per cent year over year.

The data shocked analysts on Wall Street. No wonder, when it became clear the antitrust hearing would be delayed, that the rescheduled hearing took place before earnings. Congress is working hard to smash the corporations. And, as the Times notes, following a week in which multiple tech companies were answering questions before Congress, their financial situations underscore "how regulatory scrutiny remains more background noise and a distraction for them rather than an imminent threat to their businesses".

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