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The Big Tech boom marks a lasting change

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Technology sector updates

Future histories of the Great Pandemic that began in 2020 will have to devote whole chapters to the role of technology. Had coronavirus struck even a decade earlier, the ability to moderate its spread through social distancing — with many people, at least in the developed world, able to work, shop, learn, and stay entertained and in touch, all from home — would have been far less.

Responding to the increases in demand required mighty efforts from the big tech companies. But this week has made clear the rewards they are reaping. The five biggest technology companies — Apple, Amazon, Alphabet, Microsoft and Facebook — together made $75bn in after-tax profits in the second quarter, nearly 90 per cent higher than a year before, and 30 per cent more than expected. Their combined revenues rose by more than a…

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