In this CCG essay series on The Future of Democracy in the Shadow of Big and Emerging Tech chapter, we argue that Big Tech is a concept, rather than a fixed set of companies.
As a concept, Big Tech has four core conceptual markers:
- Data-centric models: The collection, analysis and monetisation of data is central to their business models.
- Network effects: They have achieved immense scale quickly through network effects. This insulates them from competition, contributes to their size, and often results in market dominance.
- Infrastructural role: They also provide essential market and informational infrastructure for a digital economy and society.
- Civic Power: Through their consumer-facing products and services, that enable essential services like news, commerce and societal interactions, they increasingly play civic functions in society.
Read the chapter here