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ACM Opinion

Innovation Is Slowing Down—and Big Tech Is to Blame

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Illustration shows a large, powerful figure holding dominion over smaller, less powerful ones.

Once a force driving disruption and competition, technology in today's economy is now being used to suppress them.

Credit: Amrita Marino

Innovative startups are growing much more slowly than comparable companies did in the past. Surprisingly, a major culprit is technology—specifically, proprietary information technology in the hands of large firms that dominate their industries.

We are accustomed to thinking of technology as creating disruption, in which innovations introduced by smaller, newer companies enable them to grow and ultimately replace older, less productive ones. But these proprietary technologies are now suppressing industrial turnover, which has declined sharply over the last two decades. This loss of dynamism has slowed the growth of innovative firms. And researchers have tied that slower growth to substantially slackened productivity growth, which affects the entire economy, all the way down to personal incomes.

From MIT Techonology Review
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