Consolidation of technological power severely harms the competitive environment.
Today, a few Silicon Valley-based technology companies hold a significant portion of the world’s technological power. This is a fact with social, economic, and political outcomes. The most important reason for it is that these companies have read the great technology trend with the spread of the internet network, cheapening information technology resources, and the development of the mobile world very well. These companies left all their competitors behind in their sectors and grew rapidly by entering into other sectors. Another important topic of discussion is how to control these giants that hold the “customer-based technology” in their hands. We can talk about the two important results of the consolidation of technological and commercial power in a small area: First, the competitive environment is damaged and an environment threatening the foundations of the liberal economy is created; secondly, the power to influence personal preferences is consolidated with big data.
The basis of the liberal economy is to provide a well-structured competitive environment in order to strengthen free enterprise. However, consolidation of technological power severely harms the competitive environment. Because it is almost impossible for new companies to reach the same size in the areas where these businesses operate. The growth of all new companies depends on whether they use the systems of technology giants and their ability to thrive in an environment ruled by them. This imbalance in power affects all other industries in two ways: First, these companies extend over a large area with purchases in many different areas; secondly, since all sectors focus on technology when doing their businesses, every field of activity is dependent on the services provided by these technology giants. Thus, this cycle continues and becomes more difficult to change. Another important topic is that all the data of the world, which is called the oil of our day, is in the hands of these companies. Such great data collection and analysis power grant these companies the ability to influence consumption, production, macroeconomic components, social structures, and even political models.
Scandals in recent years that even political preferences are manipulated constitute proof of this. In fact, our decisions that we think belong to us are shaped by many different stimuli presented to us by technological tools. And the pandemic increased and deepened everything that we talked about. In August, it was announced that five technology companies accounted for 20 per cent of the total market value of businesses in the USA. And unless countries take the necessary measures, for example providing a fair competitive environment, the impacts of the issue will be even greater…
The Law on the Protection of Personal Data in Turkey (KVKK) was a valuable step in terms of individual protection. However, it is very important for the public and private sectors to join forces in order to make our country a “technology and enterprise centre” in its region, to achieve global success, and to contribute to the national economy. We need to address this issue with a holistic approach including all components of the ecosystem such as regulation, investments, R&D, increasing data storage and processing capabilities, and creating a socio-cultural environment supporting them. There are a lot of talented people in Turkey; if we direct this human resource with such a perspective, we should all know that we can receive a significant share of the distribution of technological power in the world by using the potentials of our region.
Mete Aktaş, Founder and CEO of CBOT