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Amazon Passes Microsoft to Become the Most Valuable Company in the World

Posted on in Business Law

Arlington Heights business law attorneyIf you were asked to name the most valuable and influential companies on earth—without looking at the title of this post—what brands would come to mind? Walmart would probably among them, as would Warren Buffet’s Berkshire Hathaway and the petroleum giant Exxon Mobile. All three of these companies are at or near the top of the Fortune 500, but according to market value rankings, four others are even more valuable.

Earlier this week, Amazon saw its stock price rise by about 3.5 percent, closing on Monday, January 7, at $1,629.51 per share. The company’s total market value is now estimated to be about $797 billion, making it the world’s most valuable brand—just edging out Microsoft’s value of $783 billion. Alphabet, the parent company of Google currently sits in third place with a $748 billion market value. Apple, which is usually in the running for the top spot, lost value last week after reports of lagging iPhone sales, bringing the company’s market value down to about $702 billion.

From Humble Beginnings to Top of the Heap

It is hard to believe that Amazon has only existed as a company for 24 years. In 1994, founder Jeff Bezos created Amazon as an online bookseller and launched the site from his garage in November of 1995. The Seattle-based company quickly diversified, however, adding music, movies, video games, electronics, and clothes. Within a year, Amazon boasted about 180,000 customer accounts, and by October 1997, that number topped one million. In 1998, the company was generating revenues in excess of $600 million.

Amazon jumped in popularity again when it decided to facilitate the sale of merchandise from other websites. This fueled the site’s growth and propelled it on its way to becoming a source for almost anything a customer could think of buying.

In addition to more traditional sales, Amazon also helped redefine the book-publishing industry. The Kindle e-reader launched in 2007, and sales of electronic books boomed. Amazon rolled out its publishing arm—called AmazonEncore—in 2009, and by 2011, the company announced that e-book sales had officially overtaken sales of printed books.

More recently, Amazon bought Whole Foods Market, Inc. for more than $13 billion in 2017. According to industry experts, Amazon is using the relationship to learn how to convert grocery shoppers into online shoppers. Given the company’s history of success, it certainly seems like just a matter of time before this venture becomes extremely profitable as well.

Grow Your Business With Help From an Illinois Business Attorney

While your business may never approach the value of a company like Amazon or others on the Fortune 500 list, the examples they set can be valuable. Success only comes on the heels of hard work, determination, and intelligent business decisions. To learn more, contact an experienced Arlington Heights business lawyer. Call 847-749-4182 for a confidential consultation at A. Traub & Associates today.



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