The unshakeable grip of Amazon and the Large Tech Giants. – The Oxford Pupil
Image description: The screensaver of ‘Incredibles 2’
Companies are floating or falling in the crippling economic vortex sparked by the pandemic. There are also those titans who have triumphed from distilling in the riches of the greatest companies. Amazon, the largest company in the world and the biggest winner from the pandemic, has made huge profits from the need for e-commerce triggered by local and national lockdowns.
For the three months leading up to September 30, the company posted profits of $ 6.3 billion, tripling the same period last year. And no doubt, in the midst of Lockdown 2.0, profits keep climbing. The company deserves recognition for its dominance in the e-commerce market. In the UK, a company like Hut Group may be one of their closest competitors, but even then, the power they can unleash is dwarfed by that of Amazon. Jeff Bezos is the model for aspiring entrepreneurs. His company has benefited from its first perk since it began selling books online in 1994.
It still surprises me that almost every product imaginable, physical or digital, online and with a Prime Membership delivered within two days. Whatever banned Brits need, from their daily purchases to Borat 2, Amazon can cater for everything. What progress for technology. What a step forward for mankind. Yet the company is so controversial that the extent of its influence must be questioned.
Heavy is the head that bears the crown
Amazon may be the top priority, but the old adage “The head that bears the crown is heavy” has never been more fitting. Their reputation was marred by neglect of poor working conditions, which resulted in COVID-widespread warehouses remaining open in the early stages of the pandemic (which resulted in 19,816 positive cases among workers in the U.S. as basic PSA testing was initially neglected ) Skill and hygiene regulations), tax avoidance and anti-competitive behavior. Amazon almost single-handedly led to the decline of high street bookstores and, in part, to the erosion of high street culture.
“Amazon should approach small publishers the way a cheetah would chase a sick animal.”
Jeff Bezos himself said that “Amazon should approach small publishers the way a cheetah would chase a sick animal,” and certainly revealed a deeply harmful attitude towards weaker competitors. If the big man’s words themselves do not provide sufficient evidence of Amazon’s anticompetitive nature, the EU antitrust committee recently announced that it would bring charges against Amazon for treating third-party e-commerce sellers, particularly in relation to the use of their privileged access to private data from independent sellers selling in their market.
Amazon uses this competitive data to help the parts of its own retail business that are directly competing with these third party sellers. The EU should be commended for its attempts to combat anti-competitive behavior through a structured and targeted investigation of a Hubristian corporate act, as opposed to seeking the widespread desire to separate them, a more vapid and Trumpian invocation. In the UK, the CMA (Competition and Markets Authority) is trying to fight anti-competitive behavior such as large-scale monopoly that would limit consumer choice. This is the kind of progressive action that should be encouraged against Big Tech Firms.
Most worrying, however, is the impenetrable and opaque control of such companies over data, the most important intangible commodity of the future. In the case of Amazon, our data is used to monitor consumer habits and suggest new items that we might want to buy that we hadn’t considered before. It is of course right that we give them permission to use this data when they spend time on their website. The same applies to Youtube, Facebook, Google and the other big tech companies. There is an insidious side to this, however, and not just in terms of conspiracies over electoral nuisance, etc. An insightful Netflix documentary, “The Social Dilemma,” shows how social networking companies use algorithms to get us addicted and addicted.
Nobody suggests that the Illuminati, who control all social networks, use our data to keep us subdued and ignorant of the sinister functions of a new world order
This is a form of screen slavery that the world has succumbed to. When we spend time on our phones, we become passive consumers who mindlessly scroll through random videos, memes, and ultimately advertisements. Nobody suggests that the Illuminati, who control all social networks, use our data to keep us subdued and ignorant of the sinister functions of a new world order. We all know deep down, although we are not actively aware, that our data is being used to provide us with content, to captivate us and to exceed our willpower.
During the pandemic, we spent more time on our devices than ever before. In our craving for entertainment and social connection, however fleeting it may be, we are content with overlooking the scientifically proven harmful effects social media and excessive screen time can have on our mental health. Never before has technology affected such a small number of companies in our lives. As in Aldous’ Huxley’s Brave New World, citizens become enslaved to superficial joys and instant gratification, resulting in a loss of morals, values and emotions – in short, a loss of humanity.
Despite all the perks outlined at the beginning of this article, I hope Amazon and its Silicon Valley counterparts, like any great empire, have bitten off more than they can chew. Their influence should be reviewed and their conduct should be subject to stricter legislation. But of course they grow and grow like sharks devouring Minnows in their subsumption of smaller businesses. Their innovation isn’t an exciting prospect either: the Amazon drones are just getting more advanced. their space program takes off; To my great dismay, Alexa is getting smarter. California’s cashier-less stores are pioneering the way to shop for groceries quickly and seamlessly.
It’s all very exciting. However, the brave new world after Covid will bear witness to tremendous technological developments, both exciting and terrifying, while the old world of unique bookstores, independent stores, and personal interaction will collapse.
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