When unstoppable institutions collide with immovable bodies

Facebook, Google,  eBay and Amazon are just four of the technology mammoths who have been touted to be in a major lobbying group newly formed to protect the interests of the information technology industry, according to The Washington Post. This report has no doubt caught the fancy of many practitioners and academicians alike who watch the dynamics of the IT industry with a keen eye.

This newly formed band of super-heroes will be named as The Internet Association and plans to start operations from September. When it is launched completely, the full list of institutional heavyweights will be available for the general public, but as it stands already, The Internet Association contains some major movers and shakers in the technology industry.

While the idea is no doubt noble in spirit, what concerns me is the agenda which is not being spoken of, but is probably hidden at some level, behind the formation of such  “band of brothers”. While the group has been formed to fight regulations that impede the development of technological innovation, are we witnessing a convergence in an attempt to create and control monopolistic issues?

A monopoly can be coercive if the formation of the monopoly actively prohibits future competition and market improvement by using practices that is derived from its market or political influence. Although it is often debated whether market restrictions are in the best long-term interest of present and future consumers. While open innovation is always welcome to the “common man”, if the underlying agenda of such a group would be to protect the interests of multi-national giants to indulge in monopolistic practices “hand in hand”, this may very well be the death of the vision with which this group is being formed.

While we can debate on and on the agenda, the only tested truth source will be time. We will be eagerly waiting for the updates in this newly formed group of super-institutions on their agenda and course of action. Till then, ciao.

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This article is authored by Sayantan Ghosh. Sayantan is an alumni of Delhi School of Economics and is currently employed with a leading national bank in its policy making body. Sayantan loves to play table tennis and has a passion for photography.

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