Where are the EU’s Dotcoms

When the European Union was founded by the signing of the Maastricht Treaty in 1993 we were very happy. That kind of made us outcasts in the opting-out UK, particulary as we also advocated for UK membership of the Euro and Schengen.

At that time there was no public email or websites to browse. The Internet as we know it is younger than the EU, and it hasn’t even been a quarter of a century.

The Internet’s growth has been similar to the growth of railways two centuries before, with the accompanying monopolist zillionaires taking over newspapers of record, founding banks, and spawning their own congressmen and women.

However, one-percenters of yore such as Rhodes or Harriman built railways. Which required them to deal with land-owners along with local and regional authorities across continents. Naturally bringing them into close, back-handing contact with a nation’s elites. Contacts the dotcom billionaires of today do not make as a natural consequence of their siloed off-shored online businesses.

But we’re not interested in the offspring of today’s dotcom billionaires causing nuclear war under President Chelsea Clinton in thirty years time. We’re wondering where the EU’s dotcoms are. Or to be more precise why doteu fails to even qualify as a brand, let alone a household name.

The dotcoms of the USA are well known. China has QQ, baidu, and ali baba. Russia has Yandex, vKontakte, and mail.ru. Websites used by hundreds of millions.

What has the EU produced? A tax-free offshoring centre for America’s dotcoms and that’s about it.

It’s failed. Maastricht was a nice idea but the EU became distracted by the collapse of the USSR, dazzled by expansion, spooked by 9/11, and largely missed out on the opportunity of the century.

Tweet us your favourite EU dotcoms and prove us wrong

@theSkankworks

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