Buffett’s greatest insight is that monopolies, duopolies, and oligopolies face little competition and little threat of new entrants. Companies that dominate their industries represent toll roads in your daily life. Every time you do anything in your daily life, you are sending part of your paycheck to monopolists.
Given that Google is the doorway through which people enter the internet, the search engine can effectively shut out competitors by demoting them or by taking their data. Google is using its dominance in one product area-universal search—to move into other markets. Economist call this “bundling: which historically has been illegal. ,
Google now controls nearly 90% of search advertising, Facebook almost 80% of mobile social traffic. The two companies captured almost 90% of the digital advertising growth last year. An astonishing 45% of Americans get their news from Facebook. When you add Google, over 70% of Americans get their news from the two companies.
Google uses universal search to dominate vertical search areas like price comparisons, and it uses its browser to further dominate the ad industry. Google is a global utility in private hands. Facebook’s Community Standards project puts the company in the position of deciding arbitrarily what speech is acceptable and what is not. Network effects effectively means monopoly.
The book can help you understand how vastly the United States economy has changed over the past twenty years. If you want to invest on the side of the powerful, you seek consolidating industries, duopolies, and monopolies. However, you will also understand why inequality will keep increasing unless competition is brought back into our economy. Capitalism without competition is not capitalism. This is an important book for both investors and citizens. The authors don’t discuss other major influences on the economy like China joining the World Trade Organization or globalism, but you have a tutorial on how our economy has become hyper-concentrated.
Are US Industries becoming More Concentrated?https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=2612047