n. The corporations Google, Apple, Facebook, and Amazon viewed as a group, particularly one that wields significant power and influence in modern affairs.
Also Seen As
In France, there’s a new word: GAFA. It's an acronym, and it has become a shorthand term for some of the most powerful companies in the world—all American, all tech giants. GAFA stands for Google, Apple, Facebook, and Amazon.
—Kabir Chibber, “American cultural imperialism has a new name: GAFA,” Quartz, December 01, 2014
Fleur Pellerin, the French digital economy minister, laments that Europe doesn't have a major Internet company. The Web giants — the French call them "GAFA," for Google, Apple, Facebook and Amazon — monopolize the value of data, she says, including data collected from 500 million Europeans. There is no European GAFA to turn to.
—Sylvie Kauffmann, “Europe, Lost on the Digital Planet,” The New York Times, October 14, 2013
2011 (earliest)
We've talked before about how the web is coagulating around a handful of key players. Google, Apple, Facebook and Amazon have the user base and the cash to make it hard for anyone else to emerge as a significant challenger. …

This week, a number of events reinforce our view GAFA is in charge and also demonstrate how these four tectonic plates of TMT are going to keep bumping against each other.
—Simon Andrews, “Mobile Fix — January 21,” Addictive, January 21, 2011
These four Internet behemoths are also sometimes referred to collectively as GAAF, AFAG, AGAF, FAAG, the Gang of Four, and the Big Four. I hereby create the Rule of Neological Nicknames:
"The measure of an entity's influence in the world is strongly and positively correlated with the number of nicknames that are coined for it."