Subscribe to our free daily newsletters
. 24/7 Space News .




Subscribe to our free daily newsletters



INTERNET SPACE
Debate swirls as power of US tech giants grows
By Rob Lever
Washington (AFP) Sept 24, 2017


With a handful of US technology giants growing more powerful and dominant, debate is intensifying on whether big tech's growth is healthy or not.

Over the past few years, Apple, Google parent Alphabet, Facebook and Amazon have become among the world's most valuable companies.

Along with stalwarts like Microsoft and rising stars like Netflix, the tech firms exercise enormous control over what people see and how they live.

Increasingly, policymakers and others have begun to consider breaking up or regulating the biggest technology companies, although imminent action appears unlikely.

While many consumers welcome innovation from the tech sector, critics have complained about the power of "gatekeepers" of information and other content.

Google holds around 90 percent of the internet search market in the United States and Europe. Facebook and Google scoop up some 60 percent of digital ad revenues and are eating up 90 percent of new ad growth in the United States.

Google's Android and Apple's iOS power the overwhelming majority of mobile devices. Amazon accounts for nearly half of US online sales and is expanding into new sectors.

- Concentration of power -

Barry Lynn, executive director of the Open Markets Institute, said three firms -- Google, Facebook and Amazon -- "have more power than any previous monopolies we've dealt with in the past century."

"We have to be incredibly concerned about the power of Facebook, Google and Amazon," said Lynn, who launched his research center last month after his team was ousted from the Google-funded New America Foundation.

"They have their hands on the flow of news, the flow of books and they are manipulating that flow in a conscious way to promote their interests."

Even though the idea of taking on the tech giants appears extreme, the upheaval in US politics over the past year has brought together allies from across the spectrum worried about their concentration of economic power.

The recently formed "New Center" political alliance that includes leaders from the traditional right and left has placed "challenging big tech" on its agenda.

Bill Galston, a former White House advisor under Bill Clinton and co-founder of New Center, argued that tech monopolies are hurting wages, entrepreneurship and could be distorting the political landscape.

"The big tech firms have almost unlimited funds they can throw into lobbying, and they have been ramping this up steeply," Galston said. "Is that a good thing for democracy?"

Lou Kerner, partner at the investment firm Flight Ventures, said this monopoly power is more concentrated than any in recent history, and expressed concern it will "strangle innovation" and increase income inequality.

But Kerner said he opposes heavy-handed regulation or breakup of the tech giants.

"By their nature regulators move slowly and by the time they address the problems they are no longer problems," Kerner said.

"Historically the market has been much better at addressing monopoly powers in technology."

- Rewriting the book -

Ed Black, president of the Computer & Communications Industry Association, which represents firms including Google, Facebook and Microsoft, said breaking up the tech giants could have a "chilling effect on innovation."

"If our goal is really to maintain innovation, spur the entire economy, and grow higher paying jobs, asking the government to penalize a successful foundational economic sector, absent bad behavior or consumer harm, seems illogical," Black said.

European regulators have taken a more aggressive approach, imposing a hefty fine on Google after concluding the search giant illegally favored its own shopping services, one of three antitrust investigations into the company.

In Washington, the rise of Donald Trump suggests a possible shift in US policy after years in which Silicon Valley was seen as close to the White House.

Former White House strategist Steve Bannon said recently he was leading an effort within the administration to turn Facebook and Google into "public utilities."

But Federal Trade Commission chief Maureen Ohlhausen, who would lead any US antitrust action, signaled any effort to break up tech firms is remote.

"Given the clear consumer benefits of technology-driven innovation, I am concerned about the push to adopt an approach that will disregard consumer benefits in the pursuit of other perhaps even conflicting goals," Ohlhausen said in a speech at Georgetown University.

She said some tech critics want "to rewrite the modern rules" of antitrust enforcement to "pursue a wide variety of goals other than consumer welfare."

rl/cl

Facebook

NETFLIX

AMAZON.COM

APPLE INC.

MICROSOFT

GOOGLE

INTERNET SPACE
Equifax executives step down after major hack
San Francisco (AFP) Sept 16, 2017
Equifax has replaced two senior executives entrusted with watching over its computers, after the credit reporting agency revealed it suffered a major hack that led to one of the worst-ever breaches of personal data. The Equifax chief information officer and head of security will retire, effective immediately, the firm said Friday, as part of an "ongoing review of the cybersecurity incident" ... read more

Related Links
Satellite-based Internet technologies



Thanks for being here;
We need your help. The SpaceDaily news network continues to grow but revenues have never been harder to maintain.

With the rise of Ad Blockers, and Facebook - our traditional revenue sources via quality network advertising continues to decline. And unlike so many other news sites, we don't have a paywall - with those annoying usernames and passwords.

Our news coverage takes time and effort to publish 365 days a year.

If you find our news sites informative and useful then please consider becoming a regular supporter or for now make a one off contribution.

SpaceDaily Contributor
$5 Billed Once


credit card or paypal
SpaceDaily Monthly Supporter
$5 Billed Monthly


paypal only

Comment using your Disqus, Facebook, Google or Twitter login.

Share this article via these popular social media networks
del.icio.usdel.icio.us DiggDigg RedditReddit GoogleGoogle

INTERNET SPACE
Mapping NASA's Space Missions

Aussie astronaut calls for establishment of national space agency

Supercontinuum lasers to inspire better beer, bread

Tech dreams live or die on startup battlefields

INTERNET SPACE
What looks good on paper may look good in space

Demonstrator 3 linear aerospike ready to start tests

ISRO to resume satellite launches by December

Mechanisms are Critical to Space Vehicle Flight Success

INTERNET SPACE
HIAD heat shield material feels the burn during arc jet testing

Hope to discover sure signs of life on Mars

Exploring 'Perseverance Valley' During Winter

Six emerge from 8-mo Mars experiment in Hawaii dome

INTERNET SPACE
China's cargo spacecraft separates from Tiangong-2 space lab

Work on China's mission to Mars 'well underway'

Chinese company eyes development of reusable launch vehicle

Spacecraft passes docking test

INTERNET SPACE
Thomas calls for new comprehensive Australian Space Agency at IAC address

CSU Launches Nation's First Space Law Center

Lockheed Martin introduces new satellite bus lineup

Bulgaria Sat Wins "Newcomer Satellite Operator of the Year" for 2017

INTERNET SPACE
Ultra-light aluminum: USU chemist reports breakthrough in material design

Corrosion in real time

Self-healing gold particles

'Naturally' glowing cotton yields dazzling new threads

INTERNET SPACE
Scientists propose new concept of terrestrial planet formation

The return of the comet-like exoplanet

New prediction of a detection wavelength for searching phototrophs on exoplanets

Hubble observes pitch black planet

INTERNET SPACE
Global Aerospace Corporation to present Pluto lander concept to NASA

Pluto features given first official names

Hibernation Over, New Horizons Continues Kuiper Belt Cruise

Jupiter's Auroras Present a Powerful Mystery




Memory Foam Mattress Review
Newsletters :: SpaceDaily :: SpaceWar :: TerraDaily :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News






The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2017 - Space Media Network. All websites are published in Australia and are solely subject to Australian law and governed by Fair Use principals for news reporting and research purposes. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA news reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. All articles labeled "by Staff Writers" include reports supplied to Space Media Network by industry news wires, PR agencies, corporate press officers and the like. Such articles are individually curated and edited by Space Media Network staff on the basis of the report's information value to our industry and professional readership. Advertising does not imply endorsement, agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement