SEATTLE — As Congress investigates whether big tech companies are too big, Seattle continues to see fast growth as these companies expand.
Currently, tech companies make up 20.2% of Washington state's overall economy, according to a recent study by CompTIA.
In Seattle, the overall footprint among companies like Amazon, Apple, Google, and Facebook is expanding. Amazon's global headquarters is now more than 40 owned and leased buildings in Seattle.
When it comes to jobs, the impact is growing too.
Amazon currently employs around 50,000 people in the region. Apple, which is moving into two 12-story buildings on Dexter Avenue in Seattle, is planning to move in around 2,000 employees.
Google is putting the finishing touches on its new five-building campus along Mercer Street and is expected to provide around 4,500 jobs.
Facebook, which is also now growing with five buildings in Seattle, has around 5,000 employees in the city.
But many feel that big tech growth can also do more harm than good.
"These four companies represent a private government that can overtake many countries in a way," said Hanson Hosein, co-director of the Communication Leadership master's program at the University of Washington. Hosein has been closely studying tech growth in Seattle for more than a decade.
"We're talking billions of people and trillions of dollars," he said. "That power is disproportionate, and the concern is very anti-democratic because they're not that accountable to us."