Discover more from Decentralized Economy by Connor Leech
Do Big Tech companies compete with each other?
Google, Facebook, Apple, Microsoft and Amazon compete in some realms but also collude and finance each other.
Apple versus Google. Microsoft versus Google. Google versus Facebook. Apple versus Facebook. Microsoft versus Apple. Amazon versus Microsoft. There are many popular narratives of tech companies competing with each other. When people call for antitrust regulation many are quick to point out that these companies don’t need more competitors, they compete with each other!
In many realms that’s true. We see Apple implementing ad restrictions to destroy Facebook’s advertising business while they scheme to launch their own Apple Ads service. Google and Apple famously compete with each other in the smartphone market. Microsoft and Google are trying to catch up to Amazon in terms of cloud services offerings. YouTube and Prime Video go head to head. There are many ways you can slice and dice how Big Tech companies compete for each other.
One thing that’s often overlooked though is how Big Tech competes cooperate, collude, finance and support each other. A common shallow critique of antitrust is saying well if there’s one competitor it isn’t a monopoly. What we have most resembles an oligopoly running the American tech economy.
Google finances Apple
$15 billion a year is what Google pays to be the default search provider on Safari. This was previously secret information that’s now public thanks to discovery in the federal government’s antitrust case against Google. Apple is getting a cash payout from keeping Google dominant but Facebook doesn’t pay them the same vig, hence the warfare and rise of Apple Ads to combat Facebook. This also gives 15 billion reasons why Apple has never bothered to build their own search engine despite how lucrative that could be for them. Much smaller teams than Apple have built quality internet search engines.
Facebook and Google rig ad markets
The Texas state attorney general filed a complaint against Google where they revealed that Google and Facebook had a secret project to collude on price fixing for online ad markets called Jedi Blue. Cool name, I’ll give them that but not cool about the whole monopolization thing; doesn’t make for a freer more decentralized economy.
Half the internet is built on AWS
This definitely isn’t a crime but I think it’s worth mentioning that so much of the internet is built on Amazon Web Services and a lot of the money came from tax payers. Amazon, along with other tech giants have received billions in subsidies for building things like data centers. Amazon especially has used revenue from cloud computing their AWS division to finance other parts of the business. This practice allows them to price below cost and drive out competition from smaller players and was once called predatory pricing. Many tech companies may compete with Amazon in one area like One Medical versus Amazon Care but still rely and be dependent on Amazon in another realm like cloud computing with AWS. In this way even to compete with Amazon you’ll likely need to be their customer. For example, AWS has a case study with Netflix which is ironic because the money Netflix pays to Amazon can be directly used to subsidize massive productions of Lord of the Rings or Prime membership which directly deteriorate Netflix’s customer base. Once a competitor is destroyed as in the case with Diapers.com prices go up.
On the data front
Switching gears to what we’re building with Employbl..
We pulled in a lot of new startup funding information into the Employbl Funding Rounds dashboard. It’s free to use. Doing a search on there for companies that recently raised money in San Francisco we see:
Anyscale raised a $99 million Series C round.
Microverse raised a $4 million Series A round.
Phyllo raised a $15 million Series A round.
AtoB raised a $75 million Series B round.
Northbeam raised a $15 million Series A round.
Overall we’ve collected data about seventy five funding rounds since August 1st..
We fixed a bug this week where we were missing jobs data about hundred of tech companies. In the latest count we’ve pulled in over forty eight thousand jobs that have been updated by employers in the past forty days. We’re currently featuring tech jobs from over 1,000 companies.
I’m currently working on a post featuring online education startups that are headquartered in America.
That’s all for now! If you are hiring in the tech realm I’d love to chat about the tools you use and your current process for finding great candidates and getting your job listings out there.