Hosting Companies: Can They Be Trusted To Police Themselves? - A Turning Point
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Obviously the impetus of any larger merger is profits first, and usually everything else second. The ev1/planet merger is large enough to have significant impact upon the hosting industry, especially in the dedicated segment which almost always consists of the mid to large size sites. It is safe to assume that the newly combined entity will encompass many large businesses. If a few more of these types of mergers occur we could start to see a much more condensed version of the hosting industry than we are used to.
Remember the old days when there were many search engines to choose from? You could happily choose from Yahoo, Alta Vista, DMOZ, Snap, and many more. Then Google came along and kicked everyone's ass. Many of the search engines are left, but most people now use Google. Many are starting to become concerned that perhaps there is too much power resting with Google since it fields well over half of ALL searches run on the entire planet.
Google's motto is "Donít be evil" so I guess it's OK that literally millions of businesses live or die depending on Google's search results. Of course, the cat is already out of the bag, and as we all know, trying to correct something that has already transpired is MUCH more difficult than if the problem were addressed prior to its occurring. How about Google scrubbing data that China's citizens see at the behest of the Chinese government? What if Google decides not to show offensive material in its search results, at least in certain countries? Well you no longer have to wonder "What if" because all of the above is already occurring, and it raises serious ethical implications for everyone who uses the Internet.
I believe we are at a crossroads now in the hosting industry. If there was a ideal time to instill some fair and guiding principles for the hosting industry it would be now. That is to say, before several large hosting providers turn into the telcos and power companies.
With that being said, we should not rush headlong into such a worthwhile endeavor. If any kind of regulation were to be done, it would need to be plotted out in detail and in advance so as to avoid the same mistakes that occurred when the government granted all domain control initially to Network Solutions. Network Solutions was given way too much unmitigated power, and was significantly profit driven, and that made for a dangerous combination. Eventually this was ironed out when the government started handing out more contracts for companies to be able to register and manage domains.
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