Can you imagine life without Google, Facebook or Amazon? Chances are you’re actually on one of those platforms right now watching this. These companies have utterly transformed how we buy goods online and consume information online. But there’s a growing view that the big web platforms need to be reined in.
Google handles around 90% of searches in many countries and that gives it unprecedented access over information that people get.
Facebook connects over 2 billion users or a quarter of the world’s population. Both companies dominate online advertising which is how they make their money considering that their services are free.
Amazon accounts for over 40 percent of retail sales in America and has a huge market share elsewhere. That lets it dictate terms to suppliers.
Their dominance is worrying for consumers and competition.
First they should scrutinize even small mergers for potentially anti-competitive effects. And second regulators should consider giving individuals rights over their data and potentially require the platforms to share data to encourage competition.
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