Internet Society Global Internet Report

Consolidation in the Internet Economy

How will consolidation impact the Internet’s technical evolution and use?

Executive Summary

The Internet is changing. From the underlying infrastructure
to the way users engage, it is evolving in many ways.

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What is Consolidation?

Consolidation trends include growing forces of concentration, vertical and horizontal integration, and fewer opportunities for market entry and competition.

What are the Features of the Consolidation of the Internet Economy?

We uncovered 5 key features of consolidation of the Internet economy.

Responses to Consolidation

Responses to the negative effects of consolidation have been distributed across the applications, services, and access domains of the Internet economy; in different sectors, …

Deep Dependencies

Central to the Internet’s success has been its ability to evolve, as captured by the characteristic of “no permanent favorites” where no specific company or technology is above disruption, evolution and competition. This …

A Changing Internet Topology

The ability of a small number of content and cloud services to invest in their own networks and deploy their servers close to the broadband network edge is amplifying the …

Interoperability as a Function of Scale

The nature of an open, collaborative, and interoperable Internet is influenced by a small number of large companies, where organisational scale and market share play a significant …

Total Service Environments

Many Internet platforms are expanding into new service and content areas, both to retain customers and to continue to grow revenues. Total service environments for business …

How Could Consolidation Impact the Internet in the Future?

If trends of consolidation continue unabated in the coming years, what does this mean for the Internet’s technical evolution and use?

Conclusion and Questions for the Future

We have a better understanding of some key features of consolidation and their impact on the Internet, but there are now more questions than answers.

Call for Papers: Special Issue on Internet Consolidation

The Internet Society and Chatham House are collaborating on a special issue of the Journal of Cyber Policy, on the impact of consolidation in the Internet’s fundamental architecture, including structural dependencies across its many layers.

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