As the last few conglomerate titans fall, Techglomerates emerge : The Indicator from Planet Money General Electric and Johnson & Johnson are the most recent conglomerates to have a messy breakup. However, Techglomerates like Amazon and Facebook are doing just fine. Today on the show, will today's tech conglomerates eventually suffer the same fate as their predecessors?

The conglomerate paradox

The conglomerate paradox

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Bruce Bennett/Getty Images
JERICHO, NEW YORK - MARCH 18: A worker leaves Whole Foods with Amazon Prime delivery packages on March 18, 2020 in Jericho, New York. The World Health Organization declared COVID-19 a global pandemic on March 11. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

The recent breakups of famous conglomerates like General Electric and Johnson & Johnson might represent the end of an era. In the 1960s, business leaders and investors believed that forming a conglomerate was a smart business move, helping to diversify a company's revenue streams and bolster its stock price. By the 1990s, investors turned against this type of business organization, and the word conglomerate became sort of a bad word. General Electric and Johnson & Johnson were like dinosaurs that survived the asteroid crash.

However, while old-school conglomerates are going extinct, the big tech companies are looking more and more like conglomerates themselves. Amazon has bought companies like Whole Foods and MGM Studios, Facebook is hoping to put its Oculus acquisition to good use by rebranding itself as Meta, and Google ... seems to be doing just about everything.

Today on the show, are these new conglomerates really different from their predecessors? Or, will they suffer the same fate that led them to go extinct?

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