Linked by Thom Holwerda on Mon 24th Apr 2017 22:36 UTC, submitted by Alfman

The original headline (I changed it) is clickbaity, but the article raises good points.

In just 10 years, the world's five largest companies by market capitalization have all changed, save for one: Microsoft. Exxon Mobil, General Electric, Citigroup and Shell Oil are out and Apple, Alphabet (the parent company of Google), Amazon and Facebook have taken their place.

They're all tech companies, and each dominates its corner of the industry: Google has an 88 percent market share in search advertising, Facebook (and its subsidiaries Instagram, WhatsApp and Messenger) owns 77 percent of mobile social traffic and Amazon has a 74 percent share in the e-book market. In classic economic terms, all three are monopolies.

We have been transported back to the early 20th century, when arguments about "the curse of bigness" were advanced by President Woodrow Wilson's counselor, Louis Brandeis, before Wilson appointed him to the Supreme Court. Brandeis wanted to eliminate monopolies, because (in the words of his biographer Melvin Urofsky) "in a democratic society the existence of large centers of private power is dangerous to the continuing vitality of a free people." We need look no further than the conduct of the largest banks in the 2008 financial crisis or the role that Facebook and Google play in the "fake news" business to know that Brandeis was right.

Any entity which becomes a threat to the well-being of our society, our planet, or the people on it must be dealt with. I'm not quite sure if e.g. Google or Apple qualify for that, and if they do, how to deal with that, but I sure as hell do not wish to live in a society where any one corporation is more powerful than the people.

Permalink for comment 643341
To read all comments associated with this story, please click here.
People are crazy
by DrJohnnyFever on Tue 25th Apr 2017 01:53 UTC
Member since:

Or these companies could just close up shop and not sell you anything. Nobody owes you anything. Amazon doesn't have to sell you ebooks. They could just go away and sell you nothing.

Google and Amazon aren't threats they are benefactors of mankind.

If Amazon is the most popular book seller it's because people *choose* to by the most books from them because they are better than the alternative.

If you don't like Amazon write and print or email around your own books

Or better yet start a company to compete with Amazon and do a better job!

Instead of trying to break up companies that do mankind a massive service how about creating something to enrich mankind yourself. What an idea.

Edited 2017-04-25 01:54 UTC

Reply Score: -1