Singapore, February 27 2019: 27 February 2019 :The Internet Society (ISOC), a global non-profit dedicated to ensuring the open development, evolution, and use of the Internet, today released the "2019 Global Internet Report -- Consolidation in the Internet Economy." The report notes the growing influence of a few powerful players in the Internet economy, and it explores what that could mean for the future of digital communications, connectivity and commerce.
The fact that a few corporations dominate large parts of the Internet is not news.
From the dominance of Facebook in social messaging, Google in search, and Amazon in online shopping, the largest Internet platforms are capturing fundamental human interactions.
These industry giants already dominate the web and other Internet applications, and are expanding into new service and content areas as they work to retain existing customers and fuel revenue growth.
A consolidated Internet, with power concentrated in the hands of a few, could stifle innovation or lead to issues affecting a disproportionate number of users.
However, concentration is not always bad. For example, feature-rich cloud platforms enable businesses of all sizes to enter new markets and operate at speeds and scale not otherwise possible. The scale of large players means that when they embrace important new technologies like IPv6, it can affect the whole Internet.
But there are also risks when a small group of large players has so much control, the report adds. These include:
- the potential for more limited choice in the marketplace
- the lack of platform diversity may create significant economic dependencies, including the risk that companies will become too big to fail
- the impact on interoperability and standardization
- regulatory responses to consolidation that may have unintended consequences to the global Internet
As a result, the report suggests, key stakeholders need to assess how best to address industry concentration as it relates to customer choice, interoperability, regulation, and resiliency.
Read the full report here
Read the Executive Summary here