New Monopolies in the Digital Networked Economy


Dominance may consist not so much in cornering a single product as in successively taking over more and more threads of the web of technology.” Superwinners can practice a type of crossover where control of one layer of the web leverages control into others. Owning the standard for voice phone calls can ease the likelihood of owning the standard for fax transmissions.

The unacceptable transgression of the traditional monopolist was that as a mono-seller (thus the Greek, mono-polist), it could push prices up and quality down. But the logic of the net inherently lowers prices and raises quality, even those of a single-seller monopolist. In the network economy, the unpardonable transgression is to stifle innovation, which is what happens when competition is stifled. In the new order, innovation is more important than price because price is a derivative of innovation.


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