What’s a little crony capitalism between big friendly competitors?
Before the Group of Eight (G-8) Summit in Paris, large Internet companies (Microsoft, Amazon, Google, Facebook, etc.) are meeting with government leaders to discuss intellectual property rights and regulation of the Internet.
Let’s dissect what’s really going on.
“And, while acknowledging the net’s power as a force for freedom elsewhere, western countries differ on how to harness or curb it on their own doorsteps.” – Key Internet summit to discuss online rules
As an Internet attorney, to me it’s clear that governments want to regulate and tax the heck out of e-commerce. Even the United Nations has jumped on that bandwagon with proposals for a global tax to fund its pet causes.
Many of the large online companies (and their founders) are at a place in their business life cycle where it makes sense to cooperate with regulatory and taxation efforts in order to protect their turf against free market competition. They will work with the politicians in the coming years to make it difficult for new Internet startups to compete or even replace them.
This is the down side to crony capitalism. Of course, in this case, it’s the large capitalists selling rope to hang the entrepreneur as a means to preserve dominance in their respective niches. They have their billions. Why should your e-commerce company rock the boat?
There are many competing interests at stake but there is a mutual goal between the big corporations and the politicians of taming the Internet in a way that helps them to your disadvantage. And there’s going to be little you or your Internet attorney can do to turn reverse the tide because regulations and taxes often increase but rarely cease.