Great advances in communications technology start new industries, but the history of such breakthroughs shows a cycle of fragmentation, concentration, more breakthroughs and a splintered set of small companies. The web may defy this cycle, whether control of the web consolidates or remain diffuse. Historic patterns suggest that today’s major web companies may become part of larger media empires, centralizing control of online content. Columbia professor Tim Wu offers a rich saga tracing the evolution of telecom industries, technology and regulations and explains what these patterns portend.
About the Author
Tim Wu is an author, a policy advocate and a professor at Columbia University.