[...] Corporations such as Amazon.com and Apple do not just exploit one type of digital labour, but different ones: Amazon.com doesn’t just put a rent on freelance services via Mechanical Turk, it also sells physical goods such as the Kindle and paperbacks and intangible goods such as e-books. Apple’s primary income source is the sale of digital technologies such as Apple computers and the iPhone. But Apple also sells content via its iTunes store. Given the global and convergent character of transnational information corporations, it is not feasible to separate the physical and the mental labour conducting for these companies. Digital workers form a collective workforce. The phenomenon of cultural and digital labour shows that culture and the economy are not separate.
The working conditions are as poor as described in the two examples because global information corporations are profitable businesses: Apple’s profits amounted in 2015 to US$53.4 billion 3 . Amazon’s profits were in the same year US$596 million. There is a class antagonism between information labour and information capital. These conditions can only be changed if the information workers of the world unite at the transnational level in order to challenge the power of information capital. [...] The dialectic takes on a very political form in information capitalism so that class relations bring about highly exploited forms of labour. At the same time, many digital media companies have come under criticism for avoiding paying taxes, which not just increases their profits, but also deprives states of tax income and supports austerity measures that destroy the welfare state and threaten social security.