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About a month ago, New York Times columnist Farhad Manjoo helped coin a new term for the top-five tech companies that are increasingly dominating our lives: The Frightful Five, better known as Apple, Google, Microsoft, Amazon, and Facebook.
The top of his list? Amazon.
Farhad’s argument was that he’s increasingly dependent on Amazon for buying stuff and entertaining his family. That’s true.
But I’d argue Amazon’s reach goes deeper than that, deeper than any other company inside or outside the tech world. And its grip on our lives is only getting stronger, which raises some serious questions we haven’t had to ask ourselves about the power and influence a tech company can have over our lives.
Out of the Frightful Five, Amazon is the company you should fear the most.
Amazon’s surprise $13.7 billion acquisition of Amazon is the latest example. We already knew Amazon had ambitions to break into the grocery business through the Amazon Fresh delivery service and the futuristic cashier-free convenience stores, but this is a whole other level — a subtle troll that the online retail giant can creep its way back into the physical world and take over a popular chain of supermarkets.
But let’s talk about everything else Amazon has…