When Ma Bell was finally broken up, the company had attained such a level of power that it had become the new metaphor for corporate monopoly and abuse of power. But today, many are comparing some of the Big Five tech monopolies to Ma Bell at its peak. And some analysts are stating that some of those modern tech monopolies not only have more monopolistic power than Ma Bell ever did but that they completely dwarf the power of the former telephone monopoly.
One of those people is Shervin Pishevar. Shervin Pishevar is one of the most successful venture capitalists in Silicon Valley today. He is the CEO and founder of Sherpa Capital and has been active in the formation of various tech companies throughout the last 20 years. Some of the companies that Shervin Pishevar has helped to form include Virgin Hyperloop, Social Gaming Network and Uber. He was also a founding principal in Airbnb, one of the most popular room-booking and home rental services in the world.
But Shervin Pishevar has garnered perhaps more attention from his often-controversial but always insightful analyses that he shares with the world through his Twitter feed. With more than 100,000 followers, Shervin Pishevar is one of the most influential thinkers in the world of tech.
Pishevar has repeatedly warned of the dire threat to competitive viability that having such large and powerful tech monopolies poses. But in a recent tweet storm, he went even further. Pishevar stated that the power that companies like Google and Facebook have acquired is utterly unprecedented in human history. He points to the massive stores of data that both of those companies have collected on the habits of every individual that has ever used them. Pishevar says that the data and the analytic capabilities that those companies have make them truly dangerous to the privacy of every citizen. But he worries even more about the potential for serious abuse of that power in the future.
Pishevar says that breaking up these information-technology companies has now become an important step in ensuring the continuation of a functioning democracy. With a monopoly on information, including personal information, these companies could seriously undermine civic functioning.