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Jul 12, 2017 | 3 min read


This Week in GAFAnomics, July 11th

“This Week in GAFAnomics” features top articles from FABERNOVEL’s internal Slack discussions. Read here your weekly dose of curated news about the Network Economy.

Joachim Renaudin

Senior Project Analyst

GAFAnomics [ga-fɑː-nom-iks], noun: A modern, networked, economic system spurred by the eponymic GAFA (Google, Amazon, Facebook, Apple) but also encompassing Unicorns, Chinese tech giants and all other companies changing our lives through computer technology.

#The week of July 11th

So what happened this week in GAFAnomics ?!


French publishers unite to fight Google and Facebook

Source: Geoffroy Van Der Hasselt – AFP

Last week, 15 major French media companies (including Les Echos, NextRadioTV, Lagardère or L’Equipe) announced that they would join forces and create a common database to collect and share their client data.

Over the last 20 years, media companies have seen a drastic increase in the competition from Facebook and Google. The rise of those two companies and programmatic advertising which enables publishers to retarget customers based on their past online navigation data, has led to a decrease in revenue for French Publishers. Today, Facebook and Google account for more than 75% of internet ad spend, and almost all the growth.

By sharing their data to have a broader view of every customer that visits their websites, the media alliances wants to become a compelling alternative to Facebook and Google: the combined audience of those sites is 50% of the French population.
To fight GAFA’s tremendous size and their data network effects, traditional companies are compelled to enter in coopetition, and form alliance to reach a comparable scale.


Google builds software that writes local news

Source: We Demain

Last week, Google announced that it is funding an automated news writing initiative for UK-based news agency, The Press Association. The software will use AI and data to write over 30,000 local news per month, to help local newspapers keep writing local stories, in a complicated financial context for the press sector. Will software replace journalists ? “Skilled human journalists will still be vital in the process” says Press Association Editor-in-Chief Peter Clifton, they will review and curate the news written by software to prevent newspapers from publishing fake news. AI still lacks nuance and style, and may not totally replace journalists in the near future, what’s sure is that it will likely justify job cuts in the news sectors. Over the last 10 years, Google has taken a fair share of advertising revenues from the news sector. Now it wants to help them survive by financing software tools.


The largest incubator in the world opened in Paris

Source: Patrick Tourneboeuf – Tendance Floue


Last week, Xavier Niel, the founder of the telecom provider Free, inaugurated its latest project: Station F. Station F is the world’s largest startup incubator: it will host over 3000 startups in the 13th district of Paris. At FABERNOVEL, we think that Station F is a revolutionary incubator, and so not only because of its tremendous size. Station F was built as a platform which aims at fostering startup innovation. Station F is built around 24 partners, among them Tech giants like Facebook, Microsoft and Amazon, who will provide services and infrastructure to help the startups grow; Banks & VC who will finance them..  Station F doesn’t create the services itself, but rather orchestrates a network of partners who maximize value for the whole ecosystem.


Facebook and Google join the fight to protect equal access to internet

Source: Facebook Prineville Data Center – Vjeran Pavic

Facebook and Google have confirmed their participation in a large net neutrality protest on july 12th. A number of other tech companies had already confirmed their support, including Amazon, Netflix or Spotify. This protest aims at protecting the current rule that forbid Internet providers from setting up different access rules and prices to some websites. Therefore, support from these Tech Giants is crucial as they represent a very large chunk of consumer internet broadband.

Net neutrality (ie equal Internet access for all websites), is deemed to be a burden on business by some Internet Service Providers, who would like to generate more revenues by controlling Internet Traffic. Yet, Google and Facebook are themselves trying to provide internet through their Loon (giant balloons) and Free Basics (drones) projects, sometimes suggesting that they would not respect net neutrality to favor their own apps and services.

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