Can an industries’ customers create a monopoly?

The three most admired American companies are Apple, Alphabet, and Amazon, according to Fortune; Facebook is in the top 15 and rising fast. Our attention seems to be ever more focused on our phones, and Apple owns 40 percent of the U.S. smartphone market; between them, Google and Facebook collect more than half of all mobile-display advertising revenues. If mobile phones, software, and social networks eat the world, who decides how big the portions can be?

Pieces like this suffer tremendously from a lack of citations, even better links to the actual studies. More little charts a la the Economist would be helpful too.

Nonetheless, it maps to the intuition we have and the “new model of monopolist” that Ben Thompson points out from time-to-time:

Given that aggregators’ “monopoly” is based on consumer choice it is highly unlikely that any of them will ultimately have antitrust problems in the U.S. absent a substantial shift in antitrust doctrine. And, on the flipside, it is very possible that all of them will ultimately have problems in Europe: Europe’s doctrine of prioritizing competition isn’t so much challenging U.S. tech company dominance as it is challenging the very structure of Internet-enabled markets.

As I recall, Ben ads that is the US, anti-trust is done to benefit other companies: you want to make sure market-share/revenue is shared among competitors. Where-as in the EU, anti-trust is done on behalf of the consumers: you want them to have more choice in the market.

Source: America’s Monopoly Problem

Image from geralt.

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