HARVARD BUSINESS REVIEW - Much of the dominance of today's tech firms, from Amazon to Google to Facebook, arises from network effects. These platforms facilitate connections: they connect people to products, to friends, to apps...More connections, more value to each person.
The question of how much competition tech giants face is now at the center of worldwide policy debate. Traditional antitrust policy is ill-equipped to regulate network-based platforms. Some platforms are offered free to users, charging in data or attention.
Antitrust authorities err on the side of not intervening; Google and Facebook have gone on a shopping spree to acquire early-stage competitors that could have become a threat if left independent. But the tide may be turning.
A better understanding of these networks can help societies fully reap the benefits of digital innovation, while mitigating emerging harms.
Mark Brooks: Scale and complexity will continue to increase. The job of overseeing the scale and complexity of platforms at the Governmental level is not easy. Mistakes will be made. It is essential companies, leaders, take the macro-perspective more seriously, right now, or potentially face overzealous oversteps from Government interventions. Leaders should provide more transparency and education to users and Government stakeholders alike.ons. Leaders should provide more transparency and education to users and Government stakeholders alike.