In less than two weeks, 2019 will wrap up. So far, 2019 has been a trying year for many big tech companies. FAANG (Facebook, Apple, Amazon, Netflix, and Google) is a closely followed group of big tech comapnies. This year, Apple and Facebook (FB) stocks have led the FAANG group. They have survived the myriad of challenges that big tech companies have faced this year.
Apple stock has gained about 78% in 2019. Facebook stock has risen about 55% for the year. Google stock has gained about 30% in 2019, while Netflix (NFLX) and Amazon (AMZN) stocks have risen about 20% each.
Each of the FAANG stocks has experienced a series of trials this year. Some of the challenges were unique to a specific company. However, most of the FAANG stocks have faced antitrust challenges. Below, we’ll discuss some of the notable challenges that big tech companies in the FAANG group have faced in 2019.
Facebook and Google bear the brunt
In 2018, Facebook faced blistering criticism about its data protection practices after Cambridge Analytica data erupted. Overall, 2019 hasn’t been quieter for the company. Senator Elizabeth Warren kicked up a storm with a proposal to break up big tech companies. Warren singled out Facebook, Google, and Amazon as particularly ripe for a breakup. Facebook pushed back against the calls for a big tech breakup. In fact, the company warned that breaking it up would benefit China at America’s expense.
As Facebook fought the big tech break, the company landed in antitrust authorities’ crosshairs. Currently, Facebook and Google face antitrust investigations by US federal, state, and congressional entities. Apple and Amazon also face antitrust probes. In addition to antitrust scrutiny, Facebook and Google have struggled with staff unrest this year. In fact, Google still has labor pains.
Big tech companies struggle to defend their turf
With over 6.0 billion users across Facebook’s family of apps, it’s the world’s top social media company. However, Facebook’s tag as the world’s biggest social media company is becoming a source of fear instead of pride. TikTok’s rapid rise has probably given Facebook executives sleepless nights. TikTok is already taking Facebook employees and going for its advertising clients. Also, TikTok threatens to take Facebook subscribers.
Netflix is another concerned big tech company. The arrival of Disney+ (DIS) and Apple TV+ has intensified the competition for video streaming subscribers. Netflix, as the market leader, has a lot at stake.