From Apple to Microsoft, 10 most valuable companies in history

Apple will be the largest company in the world this year by capitalization, with a value of 2.82 trillion euros. In second place Microsoft. This was revealed by a study by City Index on the largest companies of 1980, 2000 and today by market capitalisation, which highlights how the stock markets have changed in the last 40 years.
The major companies of the 1980s

The major companies of 40 years ago were very different from those of today. In the 1980s, another technological giant dominated: IBM, with a market capitalization of 32.29 billion euros (119.55 billion euros today). At the time, however, the company was facing stiff competition in the personal and business computing industries. New market operators questioned its leadership, so much so that in 1981 the company lost its lead on the stock markets. By the mid-1980s the company was dominant again, but was doing worse than the market, with a value of $130 billion (€121.3 billion), which today roughly corresponds to its market value in 1980, adjusted for inflation.

Followed by the telecommunications giant AT&T and numerous companies in the oil sector: Exxon, Standard Oil, Shell, Mobil, Texaco, Gulf Oil.

The largest companies of the 2000s

Since 2000, oil companies have given way to technology companies, such as Microsoft (worth €546 billion), Cisco and Intel. Bill Gates’ company, however, was seriously damaged by the dot-com crash and monopoly condemnation by the United States, to the point that by March 2001, its value had fallen to $258 billion (£240.7 billion). euro): less than half of its peak.

Only two oil and gas companies were in the top 10 in 2000: ExxonMobil and Royal Dutch Shell.

The giants of today

Although it went public in 1980, Apple became the company with the highest capitalization in history only in 2011, with a value of 326.6 billion euros, overtaking Microsoft and the oil companies. The company founded by Steve Jobs was the largest company in the world for most of the 2010s, and in 2018 it became the first US company to surpass $1 trillion (933.2 billion euros) in value. Apple then surpassed the $2 trillion (€1.866 trillion) mark two years later.

Microsoft follows closely behind, with a market value of €2.34 trillion, thanks to its market-leading Microsoft Azure cloud computing services and its stake in OpenAI, the company that developed the artificial intelligence chatbot Generative Chat GPT. However, the products Bill Gates brought the company to dominate in 2000 (such as Windows and Office) still represent a major part of its revenues. Let us remember that Microsoft was also the most valuable company in the world in 2000 and, adjusted for inflation, today it is worth over 3 times as much (2.34 trillion euros).

Add Comment