There were several generations that lived through Ma Bell. The telephone company was one of the largest monopolies that the United States had ever seen. It was dangerous due to its power. Eventually, it was taken down, which ended up being the best thing for Americans.
Shervin Pishevar, the founder of An investing firm, now warns that there are several modern Ma Bells.
The modern Ma Bells are five monopolies that are even more powerful than the telephone company ever was. This includes Alphabet (the parent company of Google), Facebook, Microsoft, Apple, and Amazon. Each of them wields power overtly and covertly within their industry.
Shervin Pishevar invites everyone to think about how much power they have. They stifle startups and have more power because of the data they have access to. He compares the amount of power they have to that of a nation-state. This power is then used in order to take down startups that could potentially threaten the monopolies that are in place.
The modern Ma Bells are going to continue.
Shervin Pishevar expresses his concern across a variety of tweets that were all sent within a 24-hour period. He identifies how the United States has allowed all of the monopolies to rise to power and they are repatriating their power because of receiving cash from abroad. We can all witness cities begging for Amazon warehouses, which is concerning. There is no one quite like Amazon. No matter how many websites are built, they don’t offer the same power. The same can be said about Facebook, Apple, and all of the other monopolies.
Unless we take the absolute power away from these monopolies, we will likely have to wait a decade or more to see another startup reach the same level of success as Airbnb and Uber.
What can we do?
Shervin Pishevar doesn’t have the answers, but he has made it easier for more people to learn about the problem.