There’s a new king of the mountain in the seemingly endless tussle between the world’s four largest companies – Amazon, Microsoft, Alphabet and Apple.
On Monday (Jan. 7), Amazon passed Microsoft as the largest company by market value, according to reports. Amazon was worth about $8 billion more than Microsoft on Monday, at $799 billion to Microsoft’s $791 billion. Google’s parent company, Alphabet, passed Apple and is in third place with about $747 billion. Apple, which has faced woes recently amid sluggish sales, is in fourth place with $699 billion.
The news gave Amazon stocks a shot in the arm; they rose about 3.5 percent on Monday, which equals about $1,632 a share. Microsoft shares were up, too – they rose 1 percent and were trading at $103 a share.
Microsoft also announced it would take a run at Amazon’s popular cash-free grocery store, Amazon Go, in a partnership with Kroger. Two stores – one in Monroe, Ohio and one in Redmond, Washington – will have digital shelving displays that will keep prices updated in real time, and digital ads that are customized to each shopper.
"Our partnership brings together Kroger's world-class expertise in the grocery industry with the power of Azure and Azure AI," Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella said in a statement. "Together, we will redefine the shopping experience for millions of customers at both Kroger and other retailers around the world, setting a new standard for innovation in the industry."
Amazon, for its part, said it wanted to open 3,200 cashierless stores by the year 2021. The company could also be looking to expand into airports. A person familiar with the plans told Reuters that the retail giant is in the beginning stages of exploring the idea.
“Think about how you can expose your brand,” the source told Reuters. “You’ll be able to build broad awareness just being in a dozen of the best airports.” As it stands, more than 350 million people boarded flights from the 12 largest airports in the U.S. in 2017.