Regulate Google?

More than half of US schoolchildren use Google apps

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Google continues to build its empire, with conquest over education and the economy

The battle for brand supremacy is a game of thrones, with powerful companies looking to take the top seat in the court. Apple were dethroned from its position as the world's most valuable brand for the first time in five years. The new king is Google.

The tech giant rocketed back to the top of the rankings, a spot they last held in 2011, as Apple's brand value dropped by 27 per cent in the last 12 months. Google, meanwhile, have increased their value by nearly a quarter to $109.5 billion (£87 billion).

With one kingdom conquered, the company is looking to build an empire as they prepare for conquest in other mediums.

They have already won the battle when it comes to education. Google is transforming public education with low-cost laptops and free apps, the New York Times reports, but schools may be giving the tech giant more than they are getting.

More than half of US schoolchildren (around 30 million children) use Google education apps, including Gmail and Docs. The company has outmanoeuvred Apple and Microsoft with their low-cost laptops, Chromebooks, making up more than half the mobile devices shipped to schools.

Google is helping to "drive a philosophical change in public education" by eschewing traditional academic knowledge, such as mathematic formulas, for skills like teamwork and problem-solving. Schools are also providing the company with generations of free customers, already immersed in its services.

As well as education, Google, along with Facebook and Amazon, have a hold on the economy. Financial Review argues that they are becoming so powerful with their collective market cap of $1.5 trillion, they are almost like a cartel. Since Facebook went public in 2012, their share has increased by 300 per cent, while Google experienced a similar growth and Amazon growing exponentially by 1375 per cent in the past decade.

Alex Pollak, CEO of Loftus Peak, argues the tech giants are becoming "the gatekeepers to the global economy", armed with data.

He said: "Data on its own is useless without the ability to action it. Google talks about data as ingredients, with the value in the cooking, or applications which use it. Which is why the emergence of the data oligopolies and the houses they live in, the hyperscale data centres, are so important.

"Just as fossil fuels were important to the world economy of the last century, new companies will find it hard to get to scale without relying on data and the datacentre."

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