Big Tech, also known as the Tech Giants, is a grouping of the most dominant companies in the information technology industry, mostly centered in the United States. The term also can refer to the four or five largest American tech companies, sometimes referred to as the Big Four or Big Five, which presently consist of Alphabet (Google), Amazon, Apple, and Meta (Facebook)—with Microsoft completing the Big Five.[1][2][3][4]

Multiple Big Tech companies' logos

The tech giants are dominant players in their respective areas of technology: artificial intelligence, e-commerce, online advertising, consumer electronics, cloud computing, computer software, media streaming, smart home, self-driving cars, and social networking. They are among the most valuable public companies globally,[5] each having had a maximum market capitalization ranging from around $1 trillion to above $3 trillion.[6] In December 2021 and November 2022 respectively, Meta Platforms and Inc. fell below their $1 trillion market caps.[7][8] They are also considered among the most prestigious employers in the world, especially Google.[9][10][11]

The Big Five are incredibly powerful corporations in structural and relational terms.[12] As such, they have been criticized for creating a new economic order called surveillance capitalism. They typically offer services to millions of users, and thus can hold sway on user behavior as well as control of user data.[13] Concerns over monopolistic practices have led to antitrust investigations from the Department of Justice and Federal Trade Commission in the United States,[14][15][16] and the European Commission.[17] Commentators have questioned the impact of these companies on privacy, market power, free speech, censorship, national security and law enforcement.[18] It has been speculated that it may not be possible to live in the digital world day-to-day outside of the ecosystem created by the companies.[19]

The concept of Big Tech is analogous to the consolidation of market dominance by a few companies in other market sectors such as Big Oil and Big Media.[20] Big Tech's definition has also grown to include smaller tech companies which themselves have larger caps, as well as non-tech companies which mirror some of the practices or results of Big Tech, notably Tesla and Netflix.[21][22] Companies like Tencent, Baidu, Alibaba Group, and Xiaomi serve as the equivalent to the Big Four in Asia. "Big Tech" may also refer to historical versions of this concept, with IBM and AT&T considered dominant in the 20th century American technology industry.[23]