Hosting Industry Centralization and Consolidation


There have been growing concerns about the concentration and centralization of Internet infrastructure. In this work, we scrutinize the hosting industry on the Internet by using active measurements, covering 19 Top-Level Domains (TLDs). We show how the market is heavily concentrated: 13 of the domains are hosted by only 5 hosting providers, all US-based companies. For the country-code TLDs (ccTLDs), however, hosting is primarily done by local, national hosting providers and not by the large American cloud and content providers. We show how shared languages (and borders) shape the hosting market — German hosting companies have a notable presence in Austrian and Swiss markets, given they all share German as official language. While hosting concentration has been relatively high and stable over the past four years, we see that American hosting companies have been continuously increasing their presence in the market related to high traffic, popular domains within ccTLDs — except for Russia, notably.

Proceedings of the IEEE/IFIP Network Operations and Management Symposium 2022