This Pandemic Gives More Power to Big Tech

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Kara Swisher wrote for The New York Times about how this pandemic will put even more power into the collective hands of Big Tech companies.

Now, as we turn to the healthy companies to help us revive the economy, it could be that the only ones with real immunity are the tech giants. In this way, Covid-19 has accelerated their rise and tightened their grip on our lives. And this consolidation of power, combined with Big Tech’s control of data, automation, robotics, artificial intelligence, media, advertising, retail and even autonomous tech, is daunting.

This has been my fear as well. What happens to all the small businesses unable to loans from the government and money from customers? They get swallowed by delivery apps, whether it’s for groceries, alcohol, or other goods.

Check It Out: This Pandemic Gives More Power to Big Tech

This Pandemic Gives More Power to Big Tech

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  1. Roger Wilson

    “This has been my fear as well. What happens to all the small businesses unable to loans from the government and money from customers? They get swallowed by delivery apps, whether it’s for groceries, alcohol, or other goods.”

    Sorry, I don’t buy the paranoia, from you or Swisher. Also, I’m not sure what your first sentence means, since an operative verb like “get”, “repay” the referenced loans is missing in action. Small businesses fail at about a 95% rate historically, and it doesn’t lead to corporate boogeymen taking over the world. And “get[ting] swallowed by delivery apps…”; what the hell does that mean? You’re ordering too much takeout? The delivery apps are taking over your business? I haven’t seen GrubHub take over barber shops yet. Perhaps you could post an example.

    • Andrew Orr

      Here is an example. GrubHub takes a 15% to 30% commission fee from each delivery from restaurants. Other services like Uber Eats can take as much as 40%. [Source 1] [Source 2]. Right now GrubHub is deferring collection of up to US$100 million in commissions because of the pandemic. But it still expects to be paid back later. It’s not lowering or waiving fees, just delaying their collection. It applies only to marketing fees, and only for eligible restaurants. This move helps no one but GrubHub.

      In non-marketing fees, GrubHub not only charges a base commission fee, it adds a credit card processing fee to each order, and a delivery commission fee of 10%. This is terrible for restaurants.

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