Internet Companies: Market Concentration, Competition and Power

Chapter
Part of the SpringerBriefs in Sociology book series (BRIEFSSOCY)

Abstract

Based on a systematic review and evaluation of business reports, documents, statistics, literature and press releases, this article analyzes the market concentration and the expansion and innovation strategies of the leading internet companies Google, Facebook, Apple, Amazon and Microsoft. The findings invalidate any claims that a decentralization of the market and a democratization of the internet is taking place, or that research, development and innovation processes are becoming more open and collaborative. The five examined companies, as the operators of the core infrastructures of the worldwide web, shape the overall products and services offer of the internet, determine access to the web, structure the communication possibilities for users, and are the main drivers of innovation in this field. Not decentralization, democratization and open innovation but market concentration, control and power struggles are categories to adequately describe the fundamental dynamics of the commercial internet.

Keywords

Internet economy Digital capitalism Platforms Innovation Market concentration Power Regulation 

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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute for Social Sciences (SOWI VI)University of StuttgartStuttgartGermany

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