By Scott Hamilton On Wednesday, Nov. 25, 2020, Amazon experienced an outage in one of several datacenters. The impact was widespread as about 20 percent of Internet users experienced issues. It made me wonder who actually runs the Internet. The Internet as a whole is an open platform and anyone with a connection to the Internet can actually host websites and share content. There was a false report released in the last few months across several news outlets that Google and Facebook accounted for 70 percent of the Internet worldwide. This is, in fact, far from the truth. If you look at the statistics, 30 percent of Internet traffic comes from Netflix, 20 percent from Facebook, and only 12 percent from Google; the remaining 44 percent of the traffic is spread across a very large number of small companies. So how can one tell who actually controls the content on the Internet, or the services available? It was shown in reports last year that close to 90 percent of all web services are housed on cloud-based infrastructure. So we can start with the top cloud service providers. The number one cloud service provider in the world today is Amazon Web Services, sitting at 32 percent of the market share. Number two is Microsoft Azure at 19 percent, followed by Google at seven percent and Alibaba Cloud at six percent. The really crazy part of this story is that Google is facing a monopoly lawsuit from the federal government with claims that it is controlling a large market share of the Internet, and as a result, needs to be broken up for monopolistic practices. I find it hard to believe that Google, with less than a 10 percent share of the largest Internet market space, is being considered a threat at all when giants like Amazon and Microsoft combined hold more than 50 percent of the market. Facebook is falling under the same pressure and actually has less global reach than Google, falling into the remaining 37 percent of Internet service providers. If you listen to mainstream news you will hear repeated reports about the tech giants that are controlling the Internet and media. Primarily listed among these giants are Google and Facebook. What becomes even more interesting is when you begin to study who owns a majority share of the mainstream media outlets. Microsoft owns MSN, Bing, a majority share of Facebook, Xbox, Office 365, and has controlling interest in Comcast which owns NBC, Universal Pictures, NBC Sports, and over 26 regional television news stations. Amazon hosts a majority of the online services of Netflix; Jeff Bezos has a minority stake in Alphabet, the parent company of Google, and a majority stake in Amazon Web services and The Washington Post. I find it interesting that one person, Jeff Bezos, holds heavy financial interest in both the Internet and media. So as you start going down the path of researching who owns the most shares in the Internet and media, in general it comes down to three companies, Alphabet, Apple Inc. and Microsoft. A single individual holds shares in all three, as well as being the president over the largest cloud provider, Amazon. This person is Jeff Bezos, who is likely the most powerful person in the world right now, and is being completely ignored by the government when it comes to his monopolistic practices. In answer to my opening question, Jeff Bezos is likely the one who “owns the Internet.” Until next week, stay safe and learn something new. Scott Hamilton is a Senior Expert in Emerging Technologies at ATOS and can be reached with questions and comments via email to email@example.com.