Data Monopolists Like Google Are Threatening the Economy

Description: The White House recently released a report about the danger of big data in our lives. Its main focus was the same old topic of how it can hurt customer privacy.

Source: HBR.com

Date: March 2, 2015

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Federal government regulators must ask themselves: Should data that only one company owns, to the extent that it prevents others from entering the market, be considered a form of monopoly?

The search market is a perfect example of data as an unfair barrier-to-entry. Google revolutionized the search market in 1996 when it introduced a search-engine algorithm based on the concept of website importance — the famous PageRank algorithm. But search algorithms have significantly evolved since then, and today, most of the modern search engines are based on machine learning algorithms combining thousands of factors — only one of which is the PageRank of a website. Today, the most prominent factors are historical search query logs and their corresponding search result clicks. Studies show that the historical search improves search results up to 31%. In effect, today’s search engines cannot reach high-quality results without this historical user behavior.  Read the rest of the Story

Questions for discussion:

1.  Do monopolies  in the information markets hurt competition? yes or no   — explain.

2.  Do you see a lot of new entries into this marketspace in the future?  is that important?  explain

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87 thoughts on “Data Monopolists Like Google Are Threatening the Economy

  1. Senura Suduweli

    Yes monopolies in information markets do hurt competitors. The major companies have a huge competitors edge on the new companies because they have information available to them that is not available to another resources. Another way that monopolies hurt competitors is by gaining more power each time a company enters the market. The monopoly has the power to “crush” new companies because they have majority of the power in the industry. Information giant such as Google has majority power in the industry. User that uses Google will only use them as their search engines. This creates million and millions of users for Google. Also implementing web browsers and operating systems Google has taken over in the industry. Any competitor that enters the market will need to be aware of how powerful company such has Google is in the industry.
    In my opinion I do not see major number of new entries in to this market. It is “owned” by big players such as Google and Bing. It will be very difficult for any new entries in to this industry because of the completion that is in the industry right now. The only situation that we will see large amounts of entries in the industry is if a company revolutionized the information markets. New ways of storing information and new and improved search engines. Another situation can be if one of the giants in the industry such as Google goes in to bankruptcy with financials or gets shut down for a reason.

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  2. Anish Singh

    In my opinion, the monopolies in data market have mixed impact on competition as a new start-up has the option to choose a partner who is willing to help them stand out and not always reduce their chances. Search Engines like Google and Yahoo have programs and offerings using which a new seller could actually compete with a very established seller. Like the Google AdWords returns queries in a very organized fashion based on various historical trends like page visits, volume of transactions, reviews received by the business and many others which may sound like working in favor of an established business but at the same time Google offers a premium sponsored ad service which can actually make a business appear on top of the page. This can actually create a very healthy competition and help small businesses increase their reach by penetrating a market to which they never could have access. It’s quite similar to getting shelf space in Retail to launch a product and competing against other major brands.

    As today Google almost dominates the search engine marketing industry with getting almost over 2 billion searches every day, they are sure to gain a monopoly in the industry which we can also conclude by seeing the trends in the industry where most of it’s competitors like Yahoo Search which was reborn in 2002 and also the Yahoo-Bing partnership have failed to gain enough popularity or market share. As the entire search engine marketing is a strategy based on data which is generated using historic search results, Google’s intellectual property or data asset is increasing every moment on a very high ratio as compared to it’s competitors. As long as Google continues to provide options for small and large business to compete, it cannot be seen as a threat or a data monopolists despite the concerns of consumer privacy.

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  3. Brady T

    Yes, monopolies in information markets do hurt competition, in more ways than one. One way that having a monopoly on information hurts competition is that when one company has access to important information that another company, whether it is an existing company or a new entrant to the market, the “have” company can use that information to gain a competitive edge over the “have not” companies which will hurt the “have not’s” financially and if they cannot gain access to that information, they may be force to exit the market as they can no longer compete. The same goes for new entrants to a market, as they do not have access to the information that the “have” company has, they cannot compete and won’t be in the market very long.
    I do not see any new entries into the existing marketspace that is search engines because there are already well established search engines such as Google and Bing, that until either technology changes, like the rise of the internet and computers made encyclopedias obsolete, or something catastrophic happens to Google or Bing, there just isn’t a need for other search engines. There does exist niche markets for consolidated information like Wikipedia, which is an online encyclopedia for general information, and how popular shows such as Breaking Bad have their own Wiki pages where people can search for all sorts of information about Breaking Bad. However, someone smarter than me would have to figure out a way to make them popular enough for them to become monetized and a part of everyday life like Google is.

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  4. Shiqi Wang

    I think monopolies in the information markets hurts competition. For example, a monopoly only gives the bigger organizations even more power. Google is the biggest search engine and many people will not use any other search engines besides Google, giving them an enormous amount of power in the market. However, the issue that Google’s potential competitors need to address is that the data Google uses to make their product superior was created by the millions of users of Google. Google owns and stores that data and is under no obligation to share. I would most definitely dread Google. Because I know I would not see my name at the top unless I paid my way through like the rest of the companies who end up on the first page. Another factor is many people just view the first page and think that is the amount of results that are there. That hurts so much business. I don’t see many entries into this market in the near future. This is somewhat surprising given how profitable this can be for companies. In a healthy market place, a company who enters as a competitor with an innovative and an aggressive market value selling price can gain a competitive advantage and maintain its lead within the market. But a company who owns the monopoly within a distinct market makes sure to kill of any competitor who tries to enter the market.

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  5. Hailly

    I think information monopolies hurt the industry but I think Google deserves to gain the rewards for its years of hard work. Google is the number one search engine for a reason. It hurts competition, yes, but it is something that other companies just have to strive and work towards. Maybe there is something Yahoo or Bing could bring to Google and pair to improves one search engine. There is not a need for multiple search engines in my opinion. Let Google do what it does best and try and come up with something to specialize in the market of information technologies. New ideas are arising everyday and needing further support and guidance.
    I do not see lots of new entries to the market just because Google is a monopoly. I think it is bad for competition, but still, Google has literally no flaws and provides superior results. People that do not use Google are just kidding themselves, it really makes the world go round and makes everyones lives a million times easier. I just think that Yahoo and Bing are competitors but kidding themselves if they think they could even benefit from the release of Google’s Big Data. Even if there was a release of Google’s deep collection of internet history, Yahoo and Bing do not have the brand name or resources that Google has been building since it’s start-up.

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  6. Ashley

    Yes I think that monopolies in the information markets hurt competition. Google is so big and has taken over so much of the market that it is hard for anyone else to even get noticed. For other companies this created a barrier to entry and results in them not even trying to enter. No matter where you travel in the world the majority of people are using Google. Everyone knows it, uses it and likes it. They have capitalized on more than just being a search engine and made themselves the key player in the information market. No other company will be able to dominate them in the near future.

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  7. Xuan Wen

    According to the recently report White House, the danger of big data in our live. It main focus was the same old topic of how it can hurt customer privacy. Big data holds many risks, one of them is the threat to free market competion. Data become the barrier-to-entry to the market and thus prevent new competition from entering. The established player’s access to vast amount of proprietary data, overall industry competitiveness suffers, and perfect. Google revolutionized the search market in 1996 when it introduced a search-engine algorithm. For today’a search engines, they cannot reach high-quality result without this historical user behavior. This means it is hard for new player enter the search past user behavior. This dynamic is not limited only to internet search. Given the importance of data to every industry, data-based barriers to entry can affect anything. Even in medicine, hospital data that could be mined for a potential cure. Data monopolies hurt both small start-ups and large. Data is a strategy, and it should adhere to the same competitive standards as other business strategies.

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  8. Jacob Rutgers

    Monopolies in the information markets hurt privacy in many ways. In the case of government, the argument for gathering as much information about people and businesses (both in their jurisdiction and not) makes sense on a few levels. It helps them make decisions on effectiveness of government programs both current and those that may potentially be in the future. While, at the same time helping to limit the risks, whether that be military threats (including terrorism) and all kinds of crime. It is very hard for a government to limit these actions despite the inherent risk of privacy for its citizens and businesses that it gathered the information to protect in the first place. That being said that risk is real, and people care about it. As illustrated the problem has been recently brought into attention through NSA scandals etc. One point of attention is the new technology that may make this privacy risk even more prevalent, in the limelight is drones. Which brings me to the private sector. Companies like facebook and google have stockpiles of personal information from all over the globe, but real harm can come from drones in the sense that there is currently very little regulation. Amazon was one of the first to propose using a drone delivery service, which raised privacy concerns, and not necessarily because people fear what Amazon will do with the drones, but rather with the threat of criminals (identity thiefs etc.) will do with this technology. The new threat of hackers is the biggest threat for citizens when it comes to big companies like google and facebook.

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  9. Jaime Zachery

    Monopolies in the information markets, like any market, hurt competition. Google is considered a data monopolist and has many effects on current competitors as well as new entries. Google has access to past user behavior which is not available to new entrants and the amount of data Google has access to limits consumer use of other search engines and makes other search engines seem irrelevant. Data monopolies in the information market are harmful to the economy as well as the consumer in the sense that since there are stronger barriers to new entries, data monopolists do not have to compete and create more efficient ways for consumers to access data and information.

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  10. Ryan.kozole@uleth.ca

    Monopolies in information markets definitely hurt the competition due to the fact that smaller and less significant search engines and competitors have a larger barrier to overcome in order to present and share information with many businesses or consumers that are in need. In the case of Google, they revolutionized the big data market with their Page rank algorithm, and this is due to them being vastly known and used historically since 1996. They are by far the largest and one of the only search engines used back then but also today as shown by their large market share and the price of their stock, which is valued on the NASDAQ at more than $500 per share. Just based on this stat in regards to competing search engines that have an IPO (such as Yahoo at $44.40 per share), it shows how Google is basically a monopoly in the big data market as they are the main source of information for consumers as well as companies in regards to possible data mining and information on potential consumers. Due to this monopolization of big data, Google can then put an marked up price on information and rip off companies that are hungry for information in order to get an upper hand over competitors.

    I definitely do not see a lot of new entries into this marketplace in the future because Google historically and currently is a popularly chosen search engine based on being the first real big entry into this market. When comparing stocks in other industries, prices are fairly similar with more than one company vying for market share. In regards to Google, they dominate the market share as shown by stock prices and that will not go away due to the insane amount of popularity they have created since being a successful start-up in 1996.

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  11. Mike Forsyth

    Monopolies definitely have an effect on the information markets. It isn’t necessarily good or bad but mixed. A monopolized market on the positive side could benefit smaller organizations because if there is a standard market price the monopoly is posting that satisfies all the smaller companies then people would be happy because they’re probably making profits. on the other hand. if you have a information market monopoly such as google, bing or yahoo. then small blogs or information websites become bullied out of business and have to shut down because they just cant keep up with a multi billion dollar search engine and provide the same amount of information as a company such as google. this poses a monopolized market and of course will rule it because there will be no motivation from small companies to compete against such an information giant. with google being such a dominant part of the information market it makes it difficult for consumers to find substitutes among other search engines. sure there are a few but its only a matter of time before google buys everyone out and completely runs the world for information services.

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  12. Ayesha S

    Do monopolies in the information markets hurt competition? Yes. Is google doing that? Absolutely. So many companies are losing the chance to gain publicity because of the whole “Survival of the fittest” or “I paid more, bump me up to the top”. It does not even have to do with performance as much as it has to do with google bumping companies up that pay their way through to get to the top. If I owned a business, I would most definitely dread google. Because I know I would not see my name at the top unless I paid my way through like the rest of the companies who end up on the first page. Another factor is many people just view the first page and think that is the amount of results that are there. That hurts so much business, it’s absolutely crazy. I would have much better luck going door to door, and having my products tested, tried and critiqued at a spot. Even though the information system is there, does not mean it is benefiting everyone in the market place. It benefits those who already have the data, know how to utilize it and have the resources to get it to the top.

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  13. Guillaume

    The big data industry seems to be trending towards monopolistic companies. Big data companies grow larger. This is a threat for the smaller companies since the market is almost impossible to enter, or to stay in. In the information market, google is hurting the competition, which is not a bad thing since they are able to give us the best possible answers or products. The data industry or the internet are not easy to be regulated by the the government or private agency’s.

    If the users of the monopolistic companies would be unsatisfied it would then help other companies to get into the market but since the users are satisfied, why would you be looking into an alternative solution. Every entrepreneur is trying to come up with the next big invention to change the world. A lot of them are online, so it might just be a question of time before the whole market switches. but for now, now company has the financial background to attack companies like google.

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  14. Riley Smith

    Monopolies in the information markets most definitely have an affect on competition. Google is the most powerful and have taken a lot of companies out of business because of their huge portion of the market. They also have a long rain of information from many years back which gives them a huge advantage over competition. Information markets are always advancing and smaller companies compared to google could not keep up causing google to eat up the market. Google has made it very easy for people to find what they are trying to access and generally give them the best information, which is why google has taken such a big part of the market.
    I don’t see a lot of new entries into this business because google is such a herd competition to keep up with and you would need a lot of start up capital to open and compete with a company like google. This posses threats towards the free market for information markets.

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  15. tjorge2015

    Data monopolists absolutely hurt competition. A good example would be Google and other non-successful search engine companies who attempted to enter the search engine market. Simply by having a head start in the market, Google, immediately had the competitive advantage by improving their search results by 31% due to their historical searches. Google also had the familiarity bias which helped them maintain customers and build a high level of trust and dependability. Furthermore, data monopolists can suffocate innovation within the scientific and medical fields. I agree that the Sherman Antitrust Act should be executed to data monopolists who are withholding crucial data banks that could minimalize the time and costs for scientists or doctors to further their practise.
    However, in terms of business there is an undefined grey area as to where competitive advantages end and monopolies begin. In a healthy market place, a company who enters as a competitor with an innovative and an aggressive market value selling price can gain a competitive advantage and maintain its lead within the market. But a company who owns the monopoly within a distinct market makes sure to kill of any competitor who tries to enter the market. The consumer is never the winner in a monopoly because there is no competition to win the consumer.

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  16. Chelsey Brown

    A monopoly is where one or few businesses have a larger portion of the market in there given field. The size of the organization that are in this position act a deterrent for others to even attempt to enter the market because there is little hope for success against such huge competitors. The depiction of Google and the power it has in the market place is a clear monopoly. Many if not most of the services that Google provides are free to most consumers and therefore are not the same threat that a “traditional” monopoly is however it still affect the market because it prohibits the consumer from ever seeing new or better technology. I believe that as technology advances there will continue to be new ways that market regulator will have to work in order to ensure a fair and stable economy. As the article mentions that even “better” or more “advanced” technologies are not able to enter the market, a solution to this from an individual entrepreneur perspective could of course be to sell the technology to a giant such as google but I understand that this isn’t a long term option for multiple technologies nor does it drive advancement. Many of these technologies are so new that we do not know the effect that they have on the market until they are in a huge position such a google. In order for technology to keep making the advancement that it has the market place need to an environment that encourages new entrants.

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  17. Chelsea

    Monopolies hurt competition in any market, so yes monopolies most definitely hurt competition in information markets. When there is a monopoly in a market it is hard for other businesses to enter the market because of different barriers to entry. They hurt diversity and consumers don’t have many options to choose from. Other businesses won’t enter because they don’t see that they will be able to compete with existing corporations. Therefore, they won’t enter the business and consumers have no choice but to use existing products. This further develops their relationship and they become more attached to the company. Brand loyalty is huge for corporations, once someone is brand loyal it is hard to get a consumer to switch to a different product, so it is very difficult for a company to compete with such businesses as Google. Google is the most powerful search engine because they are so popular among users. Any business thinking of entering the market knows that it would be difficult to establish relationships with users and therefore don’t enter the market. This is a big problem because others might have a better algorithm but aren’t able to bring it to consumers.
    I believe with technology advancing as it is there might be room for new entrants into information markets. With children being educated in technology at a young age in there will become a demand for different companies. People will be able to operate more complex search engines. It won’t be easy to enter the market but it also isn’t impossible.

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  18. Arty K

    Monopolies have a huge affect on the information market. They pretty much prevent smaller competition from entering, because first of all they could be simply intimidated, and second of all, they just realistically stand no chance. When entering information market, as it said in the article, if you lack previous history with the customers, you are already at the disadvantage, and it wouldn’t matter if your algorithm is better or if you intentions are better. Having previous history helps companies like Google dominate the information market. Yes they have a powerful engines and lots of algotithms, but what their biggest competitive advantage is, is that it’s already known, its already big, and customers simply don’t feel the need to switch, given that google keeps providing then with a great amount of information based on their previous choices, and based on the popularity of the websites.
    I don’t see many entries into this market in the near future. Which is somewhat surprising given how profitable this can be for companies. Google and Yahoo(to some extend) dominate this. Even microsoft wasn’t able to move Google from the top. I don’t see many entries, rather than separate algorithms being sold to companies like Google for personal gain.

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  19. Ann Shea

    Yes, monopolies in the information market are responsible for hurting the competition and the economy because they have made created barriers for new search programs to enter the market because search engines such as Google are in possession of so much data that when a new organization tries to enter the market their likelihood to be successful is low. Bing is an example as they are lagging so far behind google and Yahoo, this ultimately hurts the economy. In my opinion this practice is a monopoly because the definition of monopoly is “exclusive possession or control of the supply or trade in a commodity or service.”
    I do not see the potential of many new entries attempting to penetrate the market in the future because the barriers for entry are too high, therefore the risk would not be worth it. The article states that even if a new entry with a better search algorithm attempted to enter the market the chances of their success would be very low because of the deep wells of data the major players would have at their disposal versus the fact that new entrants would not have access to that data. However this is a practice that is used by many companies in order to ensure their success so it is important to because it is what how the future of big data companies or search engines will look. It is also very common in business for example large pharmaceutical companies have conquered the market in the form of monopolies as well.

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  20. James Bradshaw

    Monopolies in the information markets have hurt competition and will continue to hurt competition in the future. With huge companies like Google gathering massive amounts of data and analysing it. The almost unlimited amount of money and man power this huge organization has completely dwarfs its competition. To the everyday consumer huge companies like Google look like they help current markets but this monopolistic concept really hurts competition. Unless information is gained and utilized specifically used by large companies like Google smaller companies have no possible way of gaining or analyzing this information in the same way. This limited scope of analysis only by decision makers in large corporations undoubtedly leaves areas that can and should be improved.
    I don’t see a lot of new entrants into this market space simply due to the mass amount of money, capital and analytical tools at the disposal of huge corporations like Google. We all know that money makes the world go around. The huge amount of money and market share Google has trumps new entries into the market space. This potentially stifles creativity and the world doesn’t necessarily get the absolute best options moving forward. Large companies live by the attitude that it is my way or the highway. Leaving smaller new entrants on the outside looking in.

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  21. Skylar Edmonds

    I personally believe that the competition is heavily affected with monopolies within the information market. When an organization has a monopoly within the market, it holds a very powerful position, which also means that several other of the smaller companies that are trying to make it in the market are going to essentially get swallowed whole. Take Google for example, they are the largest search engine in the world, and as a result of that they have the most information that is inputed into the search engine as well to be available to users everywhere. This also gives Google the capability to track user information and use that to their advantage to show examples of target marketing. Personally I don’t think that there are many search engines that could do as well or compare to Google in the market. There could be several really good ideas that are out there that are just being glanced over or not even acknowledged, but it is virtually impossible for them to break through the ceiling of a monopoly.

    I don’t hear to much about new entries entering into the information market. Usually it is pretty dominated by the monopolies that are currently out there. Personally I don’t think that this will change any time soon, until there is some government regulation in the market. New entrants to the information market could potentially be really important and influential, but with only one organization controlling the market, the chance of us hearing about it is slim to none. Considering that a search engine is crucial to the internet users and when there is only one that controls the market, it can make changes regardless of how the users feel about it, because they will continue to use it because there is really no alternative.

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  22. Kristin Kobbert

    Monopolies in the information market hurt competition; because they have vast amounts of data that competing firms historically have not been able to collect. The companies that have a monopoly in the information market have search engines that have been collecting user data for years an advantage over new firms just entering the market space. Technology is continuing to develop and search algorithms are becoming more advanced, more able to process more information. But as the article stated, these search algorithms need historical data to produce high quality results, which is something that new firms entering the information market haven’t been around long enough to develop. Because only companies that have large amounts of collected previous user behavior data stand a chance to compete, there will not be a lot of new entries into the market space. With large companies such as Google creating an unfair barrier to entry, there is a loss to free market competition. If the information monopolies continue to exist without new firms entering the market space, I think there will be a consumer privacy problem. These handfuls of companies will have collected extreme amounts of information on consumers and will have the ability to use it to direct the market place. Consumers will lose the benefit that a free marketplace provides, the ability to demand companies deliver lower costs and higher quality services.

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  23. Jordan M

    Absolutely I believe that monopolies have heavily affected the information market, especially since Google has taken a heavy portion of the market. Many of the search engines that use to exist no longer do because they could not keep up with the technology advances that Google was using or that they had access too. I myself must admit I never use another search engine, Google has always been my first choice. Although there have been moments when I have been redirected to different search engines and find it not useful and hard to actually find what I originally looking for. The sad part of having a monopoly is that the world as whole is missing out on wonderful ideas that will never be seen because they will never survive against Google because of the following that the company has and the reputation it has built. There are many potential entries to the market place, but they are nearly impossible for them to get into the market because of the control that Google and other monopolies have. Because of this I cannot see a lot of new entrants to the information marketplace, Google is still going to evolve make changes in the market to keep themselves on top and prevent a take over. But the future is difficult to predict as technology is always changing and there may be new companies that could come out of it with great new product and create an monopoly on its own. I am excited to see where technology is going to take us in the coming years.

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  24. kevin lim

    i think that competition is greatly affected by monopolies in the information market. a monopoly only gives the bigger organizations even more power. google is the biggest search engine and many people will not use any other search engines besides google, giving them an enormous amount of power in the market. google is able to track what you search, and then target ads towards you based on your search history.
    i see very few if any new entries into this market because companies that are already fairly well-known such as yahoo or bing dont even have very much impact on the market in comparison, therefore if a new unknown company wanted to get into the market, i dont see them having much success.

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  25. Dawn V

    Yes I think that monopolies in the information market hurt competition especially Google because Google is a very powerful company in terms of information competition. Not only does Google have advanced algorithms but the company is respected and has a good competitive reputation against other search engines. Google is more popular and marketed more and people are more inclined in using it because of this, not just because it has a more detailed historical database. Google’s competition is already hurting like Yahoo and Bing, even though these are very popular search engines, they just don’t compare to Google in terms of information, they just don’t store enough historical data and can be useful for a basic search but Google is more in depth.
    I do think there will be more information monopolies in the future because Big Data analytics is expanding and where the future is headed especially in business, but there will be a lot of competition among the monopolies and I don’t think that very many will be successful and Google won’t be ranked as high eventually. I think it is important for new companies with differential data to enter the market space and compete because differentiation is important for data advancement and growth in business in order for a company to thrive and be successful.

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  26. Mohammad Ashraf

    I believe that competition is affected heavily with monopolies in the information market. A monopoly simply gives the big organization in the market, a powerful position, which also means that many potential organizations won’t be able to survive or even enter the market. Since Google is the biggest name in search engines, they are in control because Google is the most widely used search engine in the world and as a result, has the most information entered into their web site by users. This allows Google to track user information and use that to their advantage, which can result in target marketing. I believe that no competitor or potential entrant in the market can survive and use information as effectively as Google can, to their advantage and recognizing the needs of the market. In a monopoly, there is less innovation, which is why the consumer gets used to the things that are offered by that one big organization in a monopoly. There may be some great ideas out there that we are missing out on, simply due to the fact that companies are having a hard time breaking into this market. These potential entrants may have unique ideas, but it is nearly impossible for them to break into this market due to the monopoly that exists.

    I don’t see many new entries trying to enter the information marketplace. In today’s situation in the marketplace, it is nearly impossible for a new entrant to have an impact in the marketplace, when a giant corporation such as Google is nearly controlling this marketplace. I don’t think this is changing any time in the near future. I believe that changes to government regulation in this market can play a major role and have a decisive impact on the future of this market and on potential entrants. New entrants to the market could be very important to the consumers, because when there is only one organization controlling the market, they can make changes to their services, whether the users like it or not. A good example of this would be Facebook, who constantly make changes, which many Facebook users criticize, but they continue to use Facebook, because social media is a necessity to many. A search engine is a necessity to Internet users and if there is only one who controls the market, then that one organization may make changes to their services, which users object to, but continue to use, because they have no other option in a monopoly.

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  27. Sean

    Information that is, answers to questions and a place from which knowledge can be obtained, is naturally a monopoly. In fact just to gain access to knowledge and answers which may help prospective students find jobs and obtain skills we have to pay a select group of individuals (professors and instructors) for that knowledge. So while yes I do think monopolies in the information market hurt competition but because of the nature of information those who have don’t wish to share it or make others pay for it or they themselves face becoming obsolete. Forcing Firms to share information with competitors essential makes the business model of big data redundant because then everyone has the same information so differentiation becomes harder and not economically feasible.
    In the next decade or so I do see many new entrants to this market mainly from companies in countries outside of western influence where restrictions exist such as China and Russia who already have their own search engines. Also as companies and executives become more aware of the value of their data they will want to use that information to gain some sort of advantage or improvement from this and so will drive demand for more information products and so competition for this data will increase.

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  28. Derek

    It seems like the Big Data industry naturally skews towards monopolistic companies, both because of the value of historical data and the fact that the more users a company have the more effective they will become (which in turn attracts even more users). These two factors seem to make a snowball effect where simply being the first to start gives a company a huge advantage and because of this I don’t see much possibility for much emergence into the marketspace in the future. Even a company as massive as Microsoft hasn’t even been able to dent Google’s market share at all, so what hope does some small start up have? Thankfully Google seems to be working constantly on improving and innovating, so their monopoly hasn’t had too much of an effect on that.

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  29. Gene

    As the information market becomes centrally controlled it can create an almost insurmountable barrier to upstarts in industries that are data intensive. The monopoly that Google has created has forced potential competitors out of the market due to the lack of historical data necessary to operate competitively. The issue that Google’s potential competitors need to address is that the data Google uses to make their product superior was created by the millions of users of Google. Google owns and stores that data and is under no obligation to share. Anti-monopoly regulations may have a difficult time forcing Google to give up the very data that makes the Google product the best in the marketplace and as time goes by more data is created and Google’s product and market share gets even stronger.

    The barriers to enter into a marketplace that is dominated by a monolithic entity like Google are significant. Google has developed a superior product that when consumers use it becomes better. The data Google collects from users is in a way payment for the data Google outputs to users. I do not think that a significant competitor to Google will emerge in the marketplace that competes with google head on. In my view a healthy marketplace requires numerous suppliers and a variety of choice. There is a significant danger of collapse when a system depends on a single, monolithic entity.

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  30. Mariana

    I believe that monopolies are not a threat but a reason to improve existent companies and increase the competition between them. However, it does impact the economy. With companies like Google there is very little incentive for any company to even try to enter. I think there will continue to be attempts to enter into the market place, but it will be difficult to dethrone Google.

    Reply
  31. Morgan

    As big data companies grow larger, they begin to push towards the idea of monopolized control of big data. This poses a threat for big data in a free market, meaning that large big data controlling companies end up hurting competition. These problems associated with large companies controlling the market for big data will only get worse as they grow larger. By growing larger these companies are creating larger barriers to entry. Although, the collection and use of big data is help companies become more effective, and cater to the consumers’ needs better, it will make it more difficult for small companies to take hold in a market with massive companies who hold such a large competitive advantage. I don’t see that there will be very many companies coming into a market trying to compete with large companies such as google, but there is a large marketplace for companies to come in, and use big data as part of their competitive strategy. Not only do I suspect companies will find a use for big data, but a marketplace for data may become a much more prevalent in an age where companies collect large sums of data, and/or own large sums of data in which we could consider them a “monopoly”. My reasoning for predicting a market like this is due to the stats the only around 30% of companies that are collecting data have any sort of use for it. As these companies begin to use their data more readily, some may wish for common standards put in place to regulate data; however I don’t see that as being a feasible option based upon that fact that data collected could be viewed as intellectual property.

    Reply
    1. Ayesha S

      Do monopolies in the information markets hurt competition? Yes. Is Google doing that? Absolutely. So many companies are losing the chance to gain publicity because of the whole “Survival of the fittest” or “I paid more, bump me up to the top”. It does not even have to do with performance as much as it has to do with Google bumping companies up that pay their way through to get to the top. If I owned a business, I would most definitely dread Google. Because I know I would not see my name at the top unless I paid my way through like the rest of the companies who end up on the first page. Another factor is many people just view the first page and think that is the amount of results that are there. That hurts so much business, it’s absolutely crazy. I would have much better luck going door to door, and having my products tested, tried and critiqued at a spot. Even though the information system is there, does not mean it is benefiting everyone in the market place. It benefits those who already have the data, know how to utilize it and have the resources to get it to the top.

      Reply

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