Here is a video of the talk I delivered at the 2018 Code Conference about Aggregators Versus Platforms:
Here are a selection of articles about the topics discussed, and links to more:
The disruption caused by the Internet in industry after industry has a common theoretical basis described by Aggregation Theory.
A precise definition of the characteristics of aggregators, and a classification system based on suppliers. Plus, how to think about aggregator regulation.
The FANG companies — Facebook, Amazon, Netflix, and Google — are far more similar than you might think. Their rise in value is no accident, and it is connected to Aggregation Theory.
Aggregators Versus Platforms
Understanding the differences between aggregators and platforms matters for companies interacting with them and also regulators considering antitrust.
The Moat Map describes the correlation between the degree of supplier differentiation and the externalization (or internalization) of a company’s network effect.
Google and Facebook represent one philosophy, and Microsoft and Apple represent another; tech needs both, but ultimately platforms are more important than aggregators.
The European Commission’s antitrust case against Google is likely to be the first of many against aggregators, because the end game of Aggregation Theory is monopoly.
The EU is back to regulating tech companies, and getting the Internet wrong in the process. That, though, helps illuminate an approach that could work.
Facebook and Google and other advertising businesses are data factories, and regulation will be most effective if it lets users look inside.
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