When we see hi-tech companies ranging from Amazon to Apple reporting record results in a time of economic chaos, we must dig deeper into their differentiators than merely the fact that they give the market what it wants. This week, Apple reported a record June quarter, with revenue of $59.7bn. Amazon trumped that with $88.9bn, up a lockdown-popping 40% on the year before.

It’s not just that these are the producers and distributors of some of the world’s most in-demand products. During the largest anti-trust hearings the US Congress has held in half a century, Apple CEO Tim Cook made much of the fact that Apple does not lead a single market in which it operates.

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