So the Fearsome Five, while sitting on more cash that most of their competitors combined, are working on technology that by its very nature makes it hard to reverse engineer. The societal implications are quite troubling. But I am not surprised at all.
With most regulators asleep to the dangers of such consolidation of innovation in a handful of very large and wealthy companies – and in fact many are arguably aiding them (yes, you, Ms. Vestager with your “license to all” approach), and with most of the tech/venture world suffering from anti-troll Stockholm Syndrome, there is very little that can be done. The Fearsome Five already have (for the most part) eviscerated the US patent system and killed software patents and are more than willing to tell SMEs that they will simply take their technology and there is little that they can do about it, like what Apple apparently told Corephotonics.
While I hope that trends are shifting, I am not optimistic for the short run.