Will Amazon and Google be the two giants of the Internet? Sanford Bernstein analyst Jeffrey Lindsay seems to think so.
In a research report previewed to Reuters, "U.S. Internet: The End of the Beginning," Lindsay concludes that Google and Amazon will be the top dogs on the Internet with other players relegated to the background.
I'm inclined to go along with that theory. After all, the technology industry usually turns out to be a game of duopoly with two main players emerging. And Google is a no-brainer given it's almost monopoly like status in search. And most of you know how I feel about Amazon--I believe Amazon Web Services will be bigger than the retailing business.
Lindsay notes that Yahoo and IAC will become also-rans--no stretch there given current events--and eBay will become a takeover target. Actually, eBay would be a good target for either Amazon or Google.
The larger question is time frame. When will this shakeout happen? And what are the wild-cards? Neither Amazon nor Google are perfect and could fumble opportunities. This point is critical for Google, a company that is really a one-trick pony--a really profitable one--for now.
The other key issue to ponder is this: Is the Internet really at the end of its development phase? Or are we in an early inning game where new players can emerge into powerhouses? For instance, no one saw Google coming a few years ago. That's what makes the technology industry fun. We may be headed for a duopoly, but there's always some company trying to crash the party.