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Economic Influence of Powerful U.S. Tech Companies - 10/2/15

A recent piece written by former U.S. Labor Secretary Robert Reich suggests that big technology companies have become far too influential and powerful in America.  In an environment in which information and ideas have emerged as the most valuable forms of property, gigantic technology companies, many located on the West Coast, have as much or more influence than the railroad barons and industrialists of the nineteenth century. 

Reich indicates that these large technology companies are striving to increase their profitability by creating monopolies that must eventually be broken up.  Undoubtedly, many people disagree with such perspectives, but Reich cites a number of statistics that make it clear that the winner take all economy has produced some big winners.  Google runs two thirds of all Internet searches in America.  Amazon sells more than forty percent of new books and is now the first stop for almost a third of all Americans consumers seeking to buy anything. 

Facebook has nearly one point five billion active monthly users worldwide.  In two thousand and one, the top ten websites accounted for thirty one percent of all page views in America; by twenty ten, seventy five percent.  Reich warns that expanding market power will eventually translate into higher prices for consumers. 

Anirban Basu, Chariman Chief Executive Officer of Sage Policy Group (SPG), is one of the Mid-Atlantic region's leading economic consultants. Prior to founding SPG he was Chairman and CEO of Optimal Solutions Group, a company he co-founded and which continues to operate. Anirban has also served as Director of Applied Economics and Senior Economist for RESI, where he used his extensive knowledge of the Mid-Atlantic region to support numerous clients in their strategic decision-making processes. Clients have included the Maryland Department of Transportation, St. Paul Companies, Baltimore Symphony Orchestra Players Committee and the Martin O'Malley mayoral campaign.