More Than Half of Every Dollar Spent Online Goes to Amazon or Google

By
Breakthrough Prize Awards Ceremony Hosted By Seth MacFarlane
Digital economy oligarchs Larry Page and Sergey Brin. Photo: Steve Jennings/2014 Getty Images

Amazon and Google (er, Alphabet) are sucking up more than half of the spoils from the estimated $300 billion internet economy. Fifty-seven cents of every dollar spent online, via e-commerce or online advertising, ends up as revenue for one of the two companies. 

The data comes from a USA Today analysis of the largest internet companies in the Russell 3000, an index representing large and midsize publicly traded firms in the U.S. Just five companies — Amazon, Google, Facebook, eBay, and Liberty Investments, owner of your favorite home shopping network, QVC — control 70 percent of the online economy. Netflix, considered a dominant player in the internet sector, is still a relatively paltry earner, garnering just 2.1 percent of the Web’s spending.

For all of its promises of democratization and a level playing field, the consumer internet now bears some resemblance to old-economy oligopolies like the automobile and oil industries. (Google it.)

Amazon and Google Dominate Web Revenue