Note — Apr 14, 2019

The Future of Undersea Internet Cables: Are Big Tech Companies Forming a Cartel?

Seen in → No.75

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The GAFA spreading their influence ever further, building their moats by laying down their cables.

In the last five years, the cables that are partly owned by Google, Facebook, Microsoft and Amazon has risen eight-fold, and there are more such cables in the pipeline. These content providers also consume over 50% of all international bandwidth and TeleGeography projects that by 2027 they could consume over 80%. […]

Experts on antitrust argue that in the age of big tech, consumer welfare should not be the only factor taken into consideration while identifying antitrust behaviour. They suggest that any company stifling competition or making a ‘transaction motivated at the time by avoidance of competition is a good candidate for divestiture after the fact.’ Does the foray by these content providers into undersea cables classify as antitrust behaviour and should there be regulations to prevent this from happening?