For a medium that supposedly entails the least start-up costs, the internet sure is proliferated by numerous virtual monopolies. Take Google, Yahoo, Facebook, Amazon, for instance. I mean, the internet’s supposed to be this really cheap platform for different business enterprises or service providers. It make this inexpensiveness possible by the fact that cyberspace is a piece of realty which is practically free. There is no longer any need to establish a separate physical store for your business, which would have been a significant expense to consider. And, through one’s presence in cyberspace, theoretically everyone with access to the internet would have access to the business established virtually. But, despite the fact that entry costs have been greatly reduced and the fact that information about one’s business is made freely accessible to the public (which is almost free advertising) through this technological development, monopolies still seem to crop up, even among dotcom businesses, which thrive primarily in the internet.
I know this is only to be expected. After all, virtual presence is not the only thing to consider in any business model. You would never really be able to take away the need for a physical location, even if it isn’t really a separate physical store. The internet is only an avenue for availment of the services or the products. These services and products still have to be performed or delivered in the real world. And this also entails costs.
There are probably even other factors which explain the phenomenon of virtual monopolies. But one realization I’ve had is this: the internet does not solve all the problems. It’s not a panacea that instantly makes all the issues disappear. It was never meant to be a crutch which we were supposed to lean on. Instead, it was only supposed to be an added tool which makes things more convenient. As can be seen in the situation of monopolies, even this age and world of free information has not resulted in the free market envisioned by John Smith.
Still, I do not want to take away from the contributions that the internet has made. It has undeniably changed all our lives. But we can’t simply just rely on it completely. Time may come when we may be able to do that. But, for now, there are problems which we will have to solve for ourselves.
Aldous Benjamin Camiso, Blog Entry #16.