[...] The challenge today, however, is that capitalist investment is not suficient to overturn monopolies; access to data, network effects, and path dependency place even higher hurdles in the way of overcoming a monopoly like Google. This does not mean the end of competition or of the struggle for market power, but it means a change in the form of competition. In particular, this is a shift away from competition over prices (e.g. many services are offered for free). Here we come to an essential point. Unlike in manufacturing, in platforms competitiveness is not judged solely by the criterion of a maximal difference between costs and prices; data collection and analysis also contribute to how competitiveness is judged and ranked. This means that, if these platforms wish to remain competitive, they must intensify their extraction, analysis, and control of data--and they must invest in the fixed capital to do so. And while their genetic drive is towards monopolisation, at present they are faced with an increasingly competitive environment comprised of other great platforms.
relevant the whole platform wars thing