On Friday, news broke that Amazon—the web giant/entertainment company that bought The Washington Post in 2013—will acquire Whole Foods for $13.7 billion.
Amazon benefits by being able to use its data analysis and automation tech to lure more customers to the grocer, while also turning the 460 Whole Foods stores in the U.S., U.K., and Canada into distribution hubs and pickup centers for online orders.
But maybe the bigger story here isn't the acquisition, but rather what it portends about the coming economy: Tech companies are flush. Many traditional retailers are struggling. So what's stopping the tech giants from simply buying them—and whatever else they want?
As Paul Cuatrecasas, CEO of the British investment bank Aquaa Partners, told The Los Angeles Times, Amazon's move into the world of high-end groceries "helps justify the belief that the larger tech giants will start buying up established companies, like banks and automotive manufacturers. The impact could be immense and generational."
The tech behemoths—Facebook, Apple, Amazon, Microsoft, Alphabet (the company that owns Google)—have more than $500 billion in cash on hand, a bull stock market, and low interest rates. So, as the L.A. Times speculates, Alphabet could match Amazon by purchasing Kroger or FedEx. Apple could buy HBO or Tesla. And so on—the possibilities are nearly infinite.
This article appeared in print with the headline "The New World Order"