i3, une unité mixte de recherche CNRS (UMR 9217)

Institut Interdisciplinaire de l'Innovation

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The new western – Who can curb the web giants? by Olivier Bomsel and Rémi Devaux (i3-Cerna)
Posted on 30 March 2022

Olivier Bomsel and Rémi Devaux's new book "Le nouveau western - Qui peut réfréner les géants du web ?" published on 24 March, deals with the excesses of the Internet, which emerged as a geyser of innovation, freedom and renewal, but a few years later, the digital mask has fallen off: the Web is the site of a ferocious global business, where the law of the strongest can be summed up in the timeless formula: winner takes all. The founders of Google announced without any complexes how they were going to become a monopoly, a Zen monopoly, to make a better world, with contemporary tastes, where everything is cheaper, easier, where effort is dispensable and existence a fairy tale of immobile consumption.

Twenty-five years after their creation, Google, Amazon and Facebook are all trusts that dominate economies and make democracies tremble. Behind their status as hosts, they play out a tailor-made irresponsibility, destabilising media and institutions. Behind their cheerful facades, their viral friendships, their assiduous courses in the great ecological and social causes, cynicism and greed are revealed. Those of a new western that has nothing to envy to the time of the Rockefellers and other J. P. Morgan. How did it come to this? Why did we let them do it? How can we curb them? Olivier Bomsel and Rémi Devaux take a nuanced look at the difference between their good deeds and their bad deeds. And the latter are irrevocable. "There should be a law against it": this book explains why and how.

The authors

Professor of Economics at MINES ParisTech and Director of the MINES ParisTech Chair of Media and Brand Economics. His work focuses on the impact of institutions, particularly property, on the organisation of industry and markets in a wide range of fields: mining, metallurgy, automobiles, luxury brands, space, telecoms, media, etc.

Rémi Devaux joined CERNA as a PhD student in October 2019. He is supervised by Professor Olivier Bomsel. His thesis focuses on cost-benefit analysis of targeted advertising and is part of a CIFRE partnership with the data science company Ekimetrics. Rémi graduated from Paris-Dauphine University in Network Industries and Digital Economy.