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There is a growing drumbeat that the five leading tech behemoths have turned into dangerous monopolies that stifle innovation and harm consumers. Apple, Alphabet, Microsoft, Amazon and Facebook what the tech columnist Farhad Manjoo calls the Frightful Five have a combined market capitalization of more than $2.7 trillion and are an increasing part of everyday life.

They are each assembling enormous pools of data about their users which they use not just to sell more targeted advertising, but to improve and personalize their services, increasing their network advantage against smaller players.

But while these firms are increasingly formidable and deserve scrutiny, over all their market power appears less durable than infrastructure-based monopolies of previous generations.

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Credit:     Noah Berger/Associated Press

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