Silicon Valley giant and Google parent company Alphabet recently overtook Apple to become the richest company in America when measured by cash and liquid assets, with more than $117 billion in the bank.
Alphabet, Google’s parent company, has become the most cash-rich company in the world according to a recent report from the Financial Times. As of the second quarter of this year, Alphabet Inc. reportedly holds $117 billion in liquid reserves, overtaking Apple, which previously held the title of most cash-rich company in the U.S. with $102 billion in liquid reserves.
The Financial Times notes that such a huge display of wealth may not be a positive thing for the company and could actually increase pressure from shareholders who want to see the company spend more money on share buybacks and dividends and could lead to more scrutiny from regulators about Google’s market dominance. Over the past two years, Google and its parent company have been hit with approximately $9 billion in antitrust fines by the E.U. and U.S. lawmakers are growing increasingly wary of the tech giant.
Apple chose to actively reduce its liquidity to avoid similar issues; since 2017 Apple’s reserves have fallen by about $60 billion from its peak of $163 billion with Apple using U.S. tax reforms to repatriate overseas reserves and pay it out to investors. Alphabet’s cash reserves, in comparison, have risen steeply over the same period despite the firms increased investment in real estate as the firm buys up office space and considers building its own “Google Town.”
While Alphabet may be the most cash-rich company in the U.S. it still has not gained the title of “most valuable company,” with Apple grabbing that tile in August of last year. But since earning that title, Apple’s market cap has slipped and it is now being overtaken by Amazon and Microsoft.