Economist Article on the fight between Google, Apple, Facebook, and Amazon

The Economist has a great article on the competition between Google, Apple, Facebook, and Amazon.

The article closes with an excellent point that the regulators could change the game rules.

The Others

Watchdogs in Europe and America have been looking into accusations that Apple has colluded with some publishers to break Amazon’s grip on e-books. And they have been scrutinising Google too. Some companies, including ones with links to Microsoft, have accused the search firm of unfairly promoting its own services, such as Google+, in search results. They also claim that it uses content from competitors without permission, and that it has struck anti-competitive deals in search advertising. The firm is under fire for allegedly using smartphone patents to stifle competition. Google’s legions of lawyers have been battling these charges.

Their lordships Page, Cook, Zuckerberg and Bezos thus need to map a course for their respective firms through dangerous legal and regulatory territory. At the same time they have to avoid being distracted from fighting their rivals; the mad emperors of Microsoft lost a lot of ground by taking on the inhuman might of the Department of Justice. And the shareholders, hungry for returns in a moribund global economy, need to be kept happy.

A king who pulled all this off might claim the throne by right; but his chances of being more than first among equals, or of a lengthy reign, would be slim. As in Westeros, these battles and plots promise many more sequels and series.