Is big tech too big? Our online life is controlled by three companies

Is big tech too big? Here’s how much of our online world is controlled by three companies

Bottom Line: There’s been an increasing drum beat politically, with politicians on both sides of the isle to further regulate and potentially break up the biggest of the big tech companies. Commonly driven by scandals in social media these days, companies like Facebook and Google, which until recently were darlings of left leaning politicians – are now squarely in the cross hairs of the 2020 election cycle. As we know, perception and reality don’t always meet – especially when it comes to politics. So, what’s real? Are big tech companies too big? Do they have too much control over our digital lives? Here’s the latest research from eMarketer. 

  • 67% of all online ad spending goes to Facebook, Google or Amazon.com

Pretty incredible stat. For these three companies here’s the area of greatest control for each of them.

Amazon: 38% of all online sales

Facebook: 83% of social media use/revenue

Google: 96% of free (non-subscription) video usage

Those numbers are remarkable. The reason these companies have been able to create this type of near dominance is through a highly successful core business that was then used to buy up competing and complimentary businesses. For example, Facebook is really six businesses which include Instagram and What’s App in addition to the core Facebook platform. Google is, get ready for it, more than 200 companies including YouTube and Android in addition to the core Google platform. And though you might not think of Amazon as a company with a plethora of brands. They very much are. Amazon has acquired over 100 companies in its history including Whole Foods and Ring. 

And this is where the point comes full circle. You’re often doing business with these three even when you don’t realize it. If something pops up to challenge them, they can quickly buy it and continue to enhance market share. I’m very much a free-market minded capitalist but there are questions that can be legitimately raised about whether these companies should continue as currently created. But that's for you, and perhaps the politicians you elect, to decide. 

 
Brian Mudd

Brian Mudd

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