Amazon tops Microsoft as most valuable US company

This is the first time Amazon has stolen Microsoft's crown

Photo: AP

Amazon has eclipsed Microsoft as the most valuable publicly traded company in the US as a see-sawing stock market continues to reshuffle Corporate America's pecking order. The latest shift occurred Monday after Amazon's shares rose 3 percent to close at $1,629.51 and lifted the e-commerce leader's market value to $797bn, edging past Microsoft's roughly $788bn valuation. 

The change underscores the shifting competitive landscape in the tech industry in the US.For years the top place was occupied by the iPhone maker Apple. The company, however, has come upon tough times as market saturation slows sales of smartphones, a phenomenon that appears to be taking a particularly big toll on the company's premium-priced iPhones. As a result, in November Microsoft soared passed the tech giant thanks to its business turnaround, which has rekindled growth at the software company, raising investor confidence and boosting Microsoft's share price. But its reign at the top lasted just more than a month before Amazon took its place.

Amazon's fortunes have soared as the company has transformed itself from an online sales powerhouse to a maker of electronic gadgets, a purveyor of streaming video, and a "cloud" infrastructure provider that powers some of the world's most popular services.

Yet, close valuations of the tech giants means they are likely to trade places on and off again in the coming months.

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