The New York Times identified Amazon, Apple, Facebook, Google, and Microsoft  as the “undisputed rulers of the consumer technology industry” in a January 20, 2016 article entitled “Tech’s ‘Frightful 5’ Will Dominate Digital Life for Foreseeable Future.”  Don’t forget that Microsoft lost it antitrust lawsuit in 2000, which is about 7,652 Internet years ago.  As recently as January 18, CNBC reported about the EU  “Antitrust case against Google worth 6 billion euros”.

Nonetheless the New York Times made these observations about the Frightful 5:

  • This gets to the core of the Frightful Five’s indomitability. They have each built several enormous technologies that are central to just about everything we do with computers. In tech jargon, they own many of the world’s most valuable “platforms” — the basic building blocks on which every other business, even would-be competitors, depend.
  • These platforms are inescapable; you may opt out of one or two of them, but together, they form a gilded mesh blanketing the entire economy.

The Frightful 5 may also not exist in 10 years given the history of IT and the Internet, who knows?