How will consolidation impact the Internet’s technical evolution and use?

In 2017, the Internet Society published a comprehensive study to better understand the forces of change that will shape the Internet over the next five to seven years: The 2017 Global Internet Report: Paths to Our Digital Future. These forces, or “Drivers of Change,” were identified through extensive consultations with experts in and out of the Internet Society’s global community. The drivers encompass technological, economic, regulatory, security, and network-related opportunities and challenges for the Internet of the future. Among the driving forces our community identified was the Internet economy.

Specifically, the community identified a concern that a lack of competition and increased market concentration could have severe implications for the Internet’s technical evolution and use. Our goal for this new report was therefore to explore trends of consolidation in the Internet economy, guided by the central question: Are there trends of consolidation in the Internet economy, and if so, how will consolidation impact the Internet’s technical evolution and use?