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Apple no longer the world’s most valuable company

Google’s parent company Alphabet has surpassed Apple as the most valuable listed company in the world.

CNBC reports that while Apple’s shares were down nearly 1 percent Tuesday morning, Alphabet opened nearly 3 percent higher. Alphabet’s market cap is now a whopping $547.1 billion, eclipsing Apple’s still-pretty-impressive $529.3 billion. This is the first time Google has bested Apple on value since 2010.


Google has made up a lot of ground in the last 12 months

Much of this increase in value is due to a surprisingly low effective tax rate of 17% – thanks largely to a series of complex arrangements to avoid paying overseas tax. UK newspaper The Guardian notes that Google has been known to “shift non-US income from the UK and elsewhere to Bermuda, using aggressive tax strategies known as the double Irish and the Dutch sandwich.” Pretty crafty, Google.

Apple has been the global presence to beat for a long time, with the next three biggest companies in the world (Microsoft, Facebook and Exxon Mobil) not even coming close in valuation terms. Could this be the start of a new era of Google dominance? Apple shares have been slipping for the past few months, and despite record quarterly sales the company had a strangely negative earnings call last week.

Time will tell if this is a big deal for Apple or not – but in the meantime, the company has plenty of reasons to stay chipper. After all, if you’re making $18.4 billion profit in three months you must be doing something right.