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What unites Google and Facebook, Apple and Microsoft, Siemens and GE, Uber and Airbnb? Across a wide range of sectors, these firms are transforming themselves into platforms: businesses that provide the hardware and software foundation for others to operate on. This transformation signals a major shift in how capitalist firms operate and how they interact with the rest of the economy: the emergence of 'platform capitalism'. This book critically examines these new business forms, tracing their genesis from the long downturn of the 1970s to the boom and bust of the 1990s and the aftershocks of the 2008 crisis. It shows how the fundamental foundations of the economy are rapidly being carved up among a small number of monopolistic platforms, and how the platform introduces new tendencies within capitalism that pose significant challenges to any vision of a post-capitalist future. This book will be essential reading for anyone who wants to understand how the most powerful tech companies of our time are transforming the global economy."
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What Reviewers Are Saying
' Platform Capitalism is a high definition snapshot of the current political economic situation than manages to get a lot of detail into a tight frame. It offers a convincing image of the current stage of capitalist development as a series of variations on the theme of the platform as a means of consolidating or seizing a kind of monopoly leverage over not only distribution but also production. Srnicek gives good reasons for thinking the platform moment in capital accumulation might be less all-conquering than it looks.' McKenzie Wark, author of Telethesia: Communication, Culture and Class