Defeating the Digital Oligopoly

Might cooperative economics be the answer?

It wasn’t meant to be this way. The internet’s supposed low barriers to entry were going to allow for a competitive, democratic marketplace. Instead we have digital oligopoly. Despite their protestations and proclamations, the internet’s giant corporations - be it Google in search, Amazon in publishing or Facebook in social media – are monopolies, pure and simple. We shouldn’t need to argue the fact.

What we must do instead is think long and hard about how we can inject a little equality into the digital marketplace.

At this year’s HowTheLightGetsIn Festival Phillip Blond, Aditya Chakrabortty and Google’s very own Adam Cohen came together to do just that in the debate Markets, Monopolies and Freedom.

Blond, the author of Cameron’s Big Society project, argued that there are deep structural problems with the internet as a marketplace. More than any form of capitalism we have known, the digital variety is a “rigged game for

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