GAFA’s Information Infrastructure Distribution: Interconnection Dynamics in the Global North versus Global South

Rosa, Fernanda; Hauge, Janice
Policy & Internet

We analyze public points of interconnection of Google, Amazon, Facebook, and Apple (GAFA) in the global North versus the global South to determine the degree to which their location preferences differ, if at all. We find that there is a statistically significant difference in GAFA locating in the global North versus the global South—a difference based on a country's wealth, specifically as given by per capita GNI. Approximately 38% of countries classified as global North have a GAFA public point of interconnection, while 16% of those classified as global South do. Apple has approximately 92% of its presence in the global North, followed by Amazon (82.5%), Facebook (73%), and Google (72%). Our findings suggest that competition and antitrust policy discussions of digital platforms should include information on the dynamics of interconnection infrastructure distribution, and for that, such information must be available. We also assert that a global consideration of the digital platforms market is necessary.