Kevin Kelly, The Third Way:
Huge monopolistic companies running platforms like Facebook and Amazon are not mere corporations, nor are they governments, even though they have many of the attributes of both government and corporations. They are a new third thing: platforms. We should not expect to regulate platforms like companies, nor expect them to behave like governments. We need a third category of rights and responsibilities for them.
Platform-principalities. Bank-states (which, oddly enough, includes airlines). Energy-sovereigns (British Petroleum, Exxon). Media-empires (Disney, Universal).
We require a better term for companies that have grown so extraordinarily. Those like Apple that run international diplomacy programs with China. Those like Amazon or Google, that regard their employees as de-facto citizens. Those like airlines that can print a currency (in the form of loyalty programs).
And, as Kelly notes, we should look at them in an entirely different way. We shouldn’t treat Amazon the same we treat a local retailer, just like we don’t treat your local HOA the same way we treat the European Union. “Platforms” is a good start, but a word that connects the tremendous influence modern mega-corps have with the power that Standard Oil or The British East India Corporation had at their apex would be even better!