How can we determine if a company is one of the 10 most powerful and influential companies in America? On the one hand, assuming that money is an instrument of power, we can take companies based on their financial figures, like revenue, profit or market cap. Then there’s brand value, which affects a company’s sales, as it determines how customers perceive the company and whether they are willing to pay a higher price for its products. This is why companies invest in things like sustainability in order to boost their brand value.
Then there’s the number of employees, which determines a company’s size. In addition, companies with more employees have larger political influence, since job creation and wages are omnipresent on the agendas of most politicians. And speaking about politics, it’s also important to look at the top management and their political connections, since many companies try to lobby for certain laws and regulations that affect not only themselves and their companies, but also the country as a whole.
Since information is considered to be the most powerful tool in the 21st century, some companies are powerful because they affect the way people see information and what information they choose to see. Alphabet Inc (NASDAQ:GOOGL)‘s Google is the most popular search platform in the world and its Google News segment has an effect on what news people read. Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB)‘s impact on the U.S. election has spurred many discussions and even though Mark Zuckerberg downplayed the social media platform’s impact, political campaigns have used the platform to target voters for years and after the election, a crackdown on fake news was launched not only by Facebook, but across many websites.
With this in mind, we have compiled a list of the 10 most powerful and influential companies in America. To gather the list, we used Forbes‘ list of the world’s most valuable brands, as well as Business Insider‘s 2015 Most Powerful Companies in America list. We also included companies from Foreign Policy‘s analysis of 25 companies that are more powerful than many countries. Twitter was excluded from the list, because of its small size and the fact that the most important events that had Twitter as a key instrument took place overseas. The companies in the list are sorted based on their market capitalization.