Regulating GAFA Taking back control! Publication date : August 26, 2020
Joëlle Toledano is emeritus professor of Economics at Universite Paris Dauphine. She has led a dual career in academia and in business. She started as a research associate at the CNRS, then as a lecturer in Economics at the University of Rouen, whilst also holding senior positions in several IT companies. She has published many works and numerous scientific articles on macroeconomics, industrial economy and the regulation of electronic communications.
GAFA (Google, Amazon, Facebook, Apple) have not just shaken up the economy and society. Their increasing control over traditional businesses and consumers has resulted in the formation of real ecosystems, de facto empires. With them, a new geopolitics is quite simply in the process of being established.
Tolédano shows how these companies have drawn from the characteristics of the digital economy – network effects and economies of scale – to become conglomerates that defy geographical borders, pay no taxes, organize and regulate economic activity, define the rules of “living together,” and even envision “striking” (digital) currency.
At first harbingers of openness and freedom, these companies instill fear because their economic power goes hand in hand with a new form of social control, which is gradually eating away at governments’ abilities to act. And yet, it is possible to limit their power. That is the focus of this book which shows the need to deal with the entire ecosystem and not just the emblematic mother company, and to put an end to the presumption of lack of accountability of the platforms with regard to their content.