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The New Goliaths: How Corporations Use Software To Dominate Industries, Kill Innovation, And Undermine Regulation [Hardback-2022]
James Bessen
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Publisher: Yale University Press | ISBN: 9780300255041 | Pages: 272

An approach to reinvigorating economic competition that doesn’t break up corporate giants, but compels them to share their technology, data, and knowledge “Bessen is a master of unpacking the nuances of a complex array of interrelated trends to build a coherent story of how the promise of the democratized Internet ended up under the control of just a few. Read The New Goliaths to see how the forest came to have only room for a few tall trees with the rest of us in the undergrowth.”—Joshua Gans, coauthor of Prediction Machines: The Simple Economics of Artificial Intelligence Historically, competition has powered progress under capitalism. Companies with productive new products rise to the top, but sooner or later, competitors come along with better innovations and disrupt the threat of monopoly. Dominant firms like Walmart, Amazon, and Google argue that this process of “creative destruction” prevents them from becoming too powerful or entrenched. But the threat of competition has sharply decreased over the past twenty years, and today’s corporate giants have come to power by using proprietary information technologies to create a tilted playing field. This development has increased economic inequality and social division, slowed innovation, and allowed dominant firms to evade government regulation. In the face of increasing calls to break up the largest companies, James Bessen argues that a better way to restore competitive balance and dynamism is to encourage or compel these companies to share technology, data, and knowledge.

About the Author

James Bessen is executive director of the Technology and Policy Research Institute at the Boston University School of Law. He is the author of Learning by Doing: The Real Connection between Innovation, Wages, and Wealth. He lives in Harpswell, ME.

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