Practical Implications of Internet Consolidation

Consolidation sounds like a good thing — from

  1. the action or process of making something stronger or more solid.
  2. the action or process of combining a number of things into a single more effective or coherent whole.

But, in all things, such progress may have negative consequences. Bruce Schneier observed:

For decades, we have prized efficiency in our economy. We strive for it. We reward it. In normal times, that’s a good thing. Running just at the margins is efficient. A single just-in-time global supply chain is efficient. Consolidation is efficient. And that’s all profitable. Inefficiency, on the other hand, is waste. Extra inventory is inefficient. Overcapacity is inefficient. Using many small suppliers is inefficient. Inefficiency is unprofitable.


Efficient systems have limited ability to deal with system-wide economic shocks. Those shocks are coming with increased frequency. They’re caused by global pandemics, yes, but also by climate change, by financial crises, by political crises. If we want to be secure against these crises and more, we need to add inefficiency back into our systems.

When it comes to Internet technologies, implementation and deployment across geographies and corporations, this sort of “tidying up” and “simplifying” of the ecosystem can have some unexpected and unintended consequences.

We talked to experts in Internet technologies to explore the trends of Internet consolidation, and some of the implications for its users and would be innovators.

Join us for these upcoming podcasts:

  • July 15, 2020: “Internet Consolidation and the need for diversity”, with Paul Vixie
  • July 22, 2020: “Internet Consolidation and the Rise of Content Distribution Networks”, with Russ White
  • July 29, 2020: “Internet Consolidation –  Who is Resolving Your Query?”, with Dr. Roxana Radu and Michael Hausding