How Big Data Reinforces Market Power or Dominant Platforms

The deeper problem for consumers and society is that even as big data is damaging consumers in a range of ways, it is also reinforcing market dominance by increasingly centralized data platforms in various sectors throughout the economy.  This dynamic is driven by a combination of so-called network effects where users group themselves around services already popular with others, how control of unique user information by those data platforms creates a barrier to entry for new competitors, and the ways existing platforms spread into additional sectors to reinforce their market dominance.  A the moment, we see this most strongly as Google expands its dominance of search adverting and a range of related sectors, but the same dynamic encourages increasingly concentrated corporate power in the whole data-driven economy.

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