Four companies control half of

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Four companies control half of Internet usage, study shows
"After a wave of consolidation in the Internet sector, a mere four companies — AOL Time Warner, Microsoft, Yahoo and privately held Napster — now control half of all minutes spent online by U.S. users, according to a new report released this week by research firm Jupiter Media Metrix."
It might sound dramatic, but it’s just ludicrous at this point. First, it’s not because you use a web site or ISP that they "control" you. I control my time. Then, Jupiter might want to hear about multitasking. It’s not because you have (had) Napster running in the background that you sit idly in front of it.
I’m not downplaying the possibility that some big players might try and possibly manage to somewhat control what you can get online. But it’s just not happening at this time.
Here’s the best part: "marketing and advertising prowess, rather than infrastructure, [are] now the key barriers to entry for nascent Internet firms."
06/27/01 update: The Media Borg – Assimilating the Web.

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