Open Markets Figures Display Google, Facebook Revenue Dominance

Edge providers claim lion's share of revenue pies in respective sectors
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Google (Alphabet) had a whopping 91% share of the $59.7 billion market (revenue) for search engines in 2017, according to a new report by the Open Markets Institute, whose title leaves no doubt about how the institute views that dominance: "America's Concentration Crisis."

Microsoft was a speck in the rear view mirror with 6% and "other" brings up the rear with 3%.

Those numbers compared to a 64% share for Google in 2011, with Yahoo! at 18%, Microsoft at 14% and other at 4%.

In releasing the report, the institute says that since the Federal Trade Commission stopped collecting and publishing industry concentration data in 1981, it is looking to revive the practice.

In the social media category, Facebook had 72% of the $25.6 billion share of revenue from social networking sites. LinkedIn was a distant second at 11%, followed by Twitter at 6% and everyone else with 11% combined. In 2012, Facebook had a 61% share to LinkedIn's 14%.

In e-commerce, Amazon had a 49% share of the $525.9 billion revenue pie, followed by eBay at 7%. The other category was a hefty one, with the rest divvying up 44% of that revenue figure. But that was a big jump from 2016, when Amazon only had a 38% share.

The wireless phone and broadband market is a bit more balanced. The Big Two ex-Baby Bells had 69% of the market, though Open Markets did not have a total revenue figure, citing incomplete data.

Verizon had the slight lead at 35% of the market to AT&T's 34%, followed by T-Mobile at 17% and Sprint at 12%. T-Mobile and Sprint are trying to merge, arguing that it will make them a strong third competitor against the Big Two, particularly in the 5G rollout.

The study did not include market shares for broadcasters or cable operators or wired ISPs--where the revenues are spread around among a lot more major players--but those are probably just as happy not to be in the mix given the conclusions the institute draws about that consolidation: "Due to extreme concentrations of wealth and political power, our country is experiencing severe economic inequality, stagnant household income, the collapse of business formation and innovation, and historic levels of political polarization," it said in the intro to the report, adding: "As the charts also illustrate, monopolistic corporations often present themselves as champions of consumer choice. But while it may appear as though there are endless brands to choose from online and on the shelf, most are owned by a few large parent companies, the array of labels a mere façade creating the illusion of abundant options."

The study info is from IBISWorld, which hunts for industry concentration data to release publicly.

It comes as Washington is talking seriously about shaking up or breaking up dominant edge providers facing criticism over their handling of personal data, the security of their systems, issues of censorship and more.

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