Oil has ceased to be the most valuable resource in the world – The Economist

New products give rise to a profitable industry, which are developing rapidly and cause the antitrust regulators to come into play. A century ago the resource in question was oil. Now a similar concern giants are dealing with data that have become “e-oil era”. As reported ZN.ua writes The Economist.

As noted, the titans of the e-economy have become of Google, Amazon, Apple, Facebook and Microsoft, which seem to be invincible.

They form the five most expensive companies in the world. Their revenues are growing rapidly: in the first quarter of 2017, they together received more than $ 25 billion in net profit. On Amazon account for every other dollar spent on the Internet in the United States. And Google and Facebook get almost all the money spent on online advertising in America. This domination has led to calls to break up teggiano in smaller firms, as happened with Standard Oil in the early 20th century.

The Economist notes that there is a serious anxiety – Internet-companies control an incredible amount of personal data. And it gives them great power. Old approaches to competition, formulated in the era of oil now seems outdated in the days of the “information economy”. Therefore, new approaches are needed.

According to the publication, attempt to separate the giants into smaller companies, as happened with Standard Oil, is unlikely to work. One of the newly created businesses very quickly again dominates. According to the newspaper, smart now seem to be two ideas. The first says that the antitrust agencies time to move from the industrial era into the 21st century. When talking about a merger, for example, they traditionally turn to the scale of the operation to determine the need for intervention. But now they also need to take into account the amount of data collected by firms to assess the impact of the agreements. The purchase price can also be a sign of a potential hidden threat from the agreement. From this point of view, the desire Facebook to pay so much for WhatsApp, which had no income – it’s an alarm for antimonopolists.

The second approach is to weaken the grip of those who provide online services to retrieve the data on the necks of those data provides. More transparency will help: the company should be forced to disclose to consumers information about what information they collect and how much money to make money.

It was recently reported that the EU accuses Facebook, Google and Twitter in violation of the rights of consumers.