As the big four (Google, Apple, Amazon, and Facebook) continue to wield disproportionate influence over the digital ecosystem, these gorillas are having to worry a lot more about anti-trust issues. Nobody wants to be broken up like the Bell System.
For example, last month, Liz Gannes wrote about Facebook’s search plans:
…the fact that Facebook has finally made its search intentions known could actually be really good for Google. That’s because regulators — especially those in Europe, who are in the thick of deciding whether to settle with Google over antitrust — now have the prospect of additional search competition to consider.
Also, Google now has Gmail, Maps, and Chrome on the iPhone, where Apple had previously rejected apps that “duplicate the functionality” of built in iOS apps. But it doesn’t look good (in anti-trust terms) for Apple to reject competitive apps, and Google’s smart to get as many apps as possible to dilute Apple’s platform influence.
I think it’s net-good for consumers, as it increases the chances that more of our devices and systems will interoperate. But what we really need are some new gorillas.