The success of the free market system is based on competition and entrepreneurship, which in turn spurs both innovation and economic opportunities. It is the opposite of a monopoly where the concentration of power discourages competition between market players. This is no different than socialism, where political commissars run the show and push a coordinated agenda. But the collusion here is between regulators and corporations as merger after merger is easily approved with little or no scrutiny and corporations are allowed to run amok.
We’ve seen it in the agricultural sector, the airline industry, and now big tech. Google controls 90% of search in the U.S. and there hasn’t been a new player in years. Amazon’s 50% share of the e-commerce market has come at the expense of hundreds, if not thousands of small businesses, and it will soon control the distribution chain. Facebook, on the other hand, is a menace of a different kind, probably the closest thing to an Orwellian nightmare, but nobody seems to care.
These levels of market concentration are not healthy. It has never led to anything good and it’s an ugly picture for anyone who believes in capitalism, free markets, and democracy. For years, tech companies promoted themselves as disruptive agents, promising to change the world by delivering innovated products. And while some do have good intentions, technology and consumerism can only go so far, specially if it comes at the expense of others.