“Imagine a not-too-distant future in which trustbusters force Facebook to sell off Instagram and WhatsApp. Imagine a time when Amazon’s cloud and delivery services are so dominant the company is broken up like AT&T,” Christopher Mims reports for The Wall Street Journal. “Imagine Google’s search or YouTube becoming regulated monopolies, like electricity and water.”
“Facebook Inc., Google parent Alphabet Inc. and Amazon.com Inc. are enjoying profit margins, market dominance and clout that, according to economists and historians, suggest they’re developing into a new category of monopolists,” Mims reports. “They may not yet be ripe for such extreme regulatory action, but as they consolidate control of their markets, negative consequences for innovation and competition are becoming evident.”
“Experts aren’t, however, lumping in Apple Inc. with the new monopolists,” Mims reports. “Like Microsoft Corp. and Intel Corp. before it, Apple is considered more vulnerable to competitive disruption, despite the fact that it tops the tech world in revenue, profit and market capitalization.”
“Together, Google and Facebook take in 73% of U.S. digital advertising. It may not be something you think about often, but that success rests largely on the fact that both have spent so much money building data centers and filling them with hardware and software designed by an elite, in-demand set of engineers. In this way they resemble the telegraph giants, with investments in physical infrastructure so large no upstart could match them,” Mims reports. “They also benefit from something historically unprecedented: the ability to get users to subsidize them with enormous quantities of free labor. Their systems are fueled by personal information, but instead of them hunting for it, people willingly provide it.”
Read more in the full article here.
MacDailyNews Take: As we wrote two years ago:
Imagine if your livelihood depended on one company that had not only monopolized web search (and, thereby, basically controlled how new customers find you), but also controlled the bulk of online advertising dollars which funded your business and which they could pull, simply threaten to pull, or reduce rates at any time? Now also imagine if you believe this monopolist basically stole the product of another company that is the very subject of your business? How much would you criticize the monopolist thief’s business practices?
You might guess that it would be a tough road to walk. (We’re only imagining, of course!)
That would be a good example of why monopolies are bad for everyone… Stop using Google search and Google products wherever possible. Monopolies are bad for everyone.
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