Big Tech is under siege, with hundreds of billions of dollars at stake. Various U.S. government agencies have taken to the task of curbing tech companies’ rapidly ballooning money and influence, accusing them of violating antitrust regulations. Facebook is facing a lawsuit from the Federal Trade Commission, Google is battling a case by the Justice Department and Amazon has been targeted in a suit by the District of Columbia attorney general. Meanwhile, Congress is deliberating a complete overhaul of antitrust laws, which could threaten tech’s kingpins and rising stars on an industry-wide level. The implications could be huge: Facebook, for example, could be forced to relinquish control of Instagram and WhatsApp.
But the avalanche of scrutiny has so far failed to put a dent in the pockets of the country’s richesttechbillionaires. Amazon founder Jeff Bezos is the first person in Forbes 400 history to amass a $200 billion fortune. Mark Zuckerberg, meanwhile, surpassed longtime list-topper Bill Gates for the first time this year. Facebook joined Amazon, Alphabet, Apple and Microsoft as the only American companies to ever reach a $1 trillion market capitalization. Stocks of all five companies traded at record highs this year.
Tech’s ultrarich are now in a class of their own. One-fifth of The Forbes 400—a snapshot of the richest people in America on September 3, 2021—have fortunes in technology. These 80 billionaires are worth a collective $1.6 trillion. But even among the richest of the rich, the wealth is disproportionately held by a small fraction of individuals. The seven richesttechbillionaires this year are together worth $925 billion—more than the fortunes of all 103 billionaires who derive their wealth from finance and investments, the second most lucrative industry on The Forbes 400. Individually, these seven tech moguls are each worth more than the entire inaugural Forbes 400 class combined, from 1982, which was worth a total of $92 billion.
Read the full story on Forbes: forbes.com/sites/kenrickcai/2021/10/05/richest-us-tech-billionaires-2021-forbes-400-list/?sh=764e7a1c6de9
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