The U.S is home to Apple, Amazon, Google, Facebook, and Microsoft. The five tech giants presently control over 90 percent of smartphone technology, e-commerce, social media, etc. In his recent article posted on the New York Times’ website, Farhad Manjoo analyzes the five tech companies noting both the good and bad associated with the “frightful five” as Manjoo refers to them.
Manjoo’s article comes in the wake of the revelation by Facebook that a Russian company bought ads on the social networking platform to influence last year’s presidential poll. In fact, Facebook, Google, alongside the influential but not so big Twitter appeared before the Congress this week to testify about how their game-changing technology could have influenced the presidential poll. Manjoo’s endless arguments that the frightful five’s size and influence pose a danger were confirmed this week. He suggests that the tech giants have demonstrated beyond any reasonable doubt that they are out to reshape the world and the impact of their actions could be positive or negative. Before discussing the downside of only five tech giants controlling the U.S and parts of the world, Manjoo delves into the positives of the five being in charge.
Manjoo suggests that although the actions of the frightful five could influence the society in a not so positive way, the government can quickly reign on them. He illustrates this point with the recent appearance of Facebook, Google, and Twitter’s executives before the Congress. Would the same be possible if the internet was under the control of uncountable small firms?
The members of the frightful five are uncomfortable with each other, and Manjoo explains that this is a good thing especially for the users of tech. The five are continuously in a cold war meant to outdo the other either by investing heavily in research to widen the span of their control or developing new tech. The result are innovations which are beneficial to consumers
Strikingly, the five are American brands meaning that they are subject to the American laws and values.