Adonis Diaries

Liberty in danger: Concentration of Multimedia Multinationals

Posted on: December 29, 2009

Information and communication technologies (ICT): Transmitter of crisis and catalyst of global economic restructuring?

Astronomical sums are invested in the technologies of information and communication (ICT). In 2008 alone, over 1,800 billion were spent by private and public institutions.  Since 1980, half the total investments by banks and financial institutions have been oriented toward the ICT sectors so that exchange of information and transactions be as fluid and instantaneous as desired on global scale.

It followed that banks and financial institutions were drawn to diversification into acquiring factories, lands, real estates, and mines. The IC of multinationals were frequently reconfigured to adjust with evolving strategies and global market access.

Before the financial crash, Citigroup hired 25,000 computer programmers and invested 5 billion on ICT technologies and related infrastructure in 2008.  Lehman Brothers was using 3,000 programs on 25,000 servers around the world.  This run for IC technologies was viewed as the main tool for “space-time bailout” by channeling capitals to emerging sectors susceptible to inevitable expansion. The age in the 70’s was coined “society of information”.  Thus, in 2007, US multinationals profit from outside investment amounted to 25% compared to only 5% in 1960.

So far, Information and Communication Technologies are the two main factors for capitalist global economy expansion and have displaced many traditional economies. For example, Skype (voice on internet) has over 400 million users and is the most important provider of international communication; Skype was the catalyst for the explosion of high debit mobile phone infrastructures and for the demand of internet services to enterprises.  This Christmas Eve, we discovered that the world is a town square: we had overseas relatives joining our home party through Skype; many who for some reason could not celebrate did cry; it is better than creating a petrified heart.  Facebook has 300 million subscribers and I do send links from my blog on wordpress.com.

Mobile phone is displacing computers and TV markets: there are over 4.5 billion users of mobile phones and the latest generations function as multimedia screens. Apple’s mobile has swept China and South Korea markets; over 100,000 programs were developed for its applications.

Amazon, Apple, and Google (via YouTube) have broken serious barriers into cartels in music, books, video games, and movies. Low priced connections are provoking the centralization of programs, data, images, and emails are frequently stored in “farm servers” belonging to giant operators.

In 2005, 19 out of the 25 first ICT enterprises were US based and over half the satellites were US.  Heavy weight consumers of ICT such as Wal-Mart and General Electric imposed standards on information and communication systems that are applied globally.  By 2009, Samsung, Nokia, Nintendo, Huawei, Tate, SAP, Telefonica, DoCoMo, Americal Movil, Vodafone, and especially China Mobile are displacing minor US players among the 250 greatest enterprises. Newer investments are primarily flowing from China, India, and Mexico in ICT.

Liberty is in imminent danger: after the financial crash, mainly the ICT multinationals had accumulated financial reserves.  The main real danger of total universal hegemony is starting with the giant ICT companies trumpeting acquisition of competitors and setting the stage for an unknown educational, cultural, and economic world. Cisco (the prime provider in web routers) has accumulated financial reserve of $20 billion, Microsoft (the emperor of systems of exploitation) around $19 billion, Google (dominating search engines and on-line video) around $16 billion, Intel (world leader in semi-conductors) around $10 billion, and Apple (programs most prized by elite users) around $26 billion; only China Mobile generated profit of $18 billion in 2009.

Publicity expenditures in 2009 amounted to $500 billion (though they declined by 10% after the financial crash) but multimedia expenditures in the US in 2008 reached $900 billion and are increasing by 2.3%.

The capitalist global economy is going ahead and strong because of IC technologies; we have the impression that the world is reduced to a town square.  Political and economical powers are concentrating with a few superpower States controlling and managing information and communication: they have been setting the standards and subjugating independent companies to follow suit.  What started as a catalyst to world democratic practices has reverted to world oligarchy of the first kind.

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adonis49

adonis49

adonis49

December 2009
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