Presented by Richard Waters. Edited by Paolo Pascual. Additional footage from Reuters.
One way to regulate a company is through competition, through government regulation. Here's the question...-
The power of the big tech platforms has been subject to great political concern and regulatory concern this year, and because of that, there's been a cloud hanging over the stock prices of some of these companies, Facebook in particular, because of its privacy scandal, but also Google, Amazon.
Well, this week, we've seen the financial power of those platforms and it really is quite extraordinary. On Thursday alone, Amazon's stock market value went up $70 billion. It's back at a record high, Facebook, $50 billion in a single day. You just have to look at the earnings of those companies this week - and Google - and it is extraordinary how even at the scale they are, their revenue growth is accelerating. All three of those companies blew away Wall Street's revenue expectations this week, and it's really underlying the power they have, the power of those platforms.
It wasn't done without some very significant spending. Amazon has never really troubled Wall Street too much with its spending binges because the Street is confident that the profits will follow. With Alphabet, Google's parent, it's a different story altogether. There's very great worry now about whether Alphabet's spending is out of control. Facebook, as well, now has said it's going to spend $15 billion on capital spending this year. That's more than double of last year.
It really underlines how these companies are putting a complete gulf now between them and the also-rans, if you like. I think there's a message here for the regulators. The financial power is extraordinary. How on earth can they be contained?
This is Richard Waters for the Financial Times in San Francisco.