From the article:
Of course, Google, Facebook et al are going to spend the next decade doing everything they can trying to unravel it. And as we saw just last week, lawmakers are only too willing to do the bidding of large corporate donors. But it is much harder to put a genie back in the bottle than it is to stop it getting out. ®
Also, trying to reverse this will always, always look incredibly slimy. Even mentioning it would be a very blatant public admission.
Personally speaking I find it hilarious how this has come about. The hilarity is the speed with which it's happened, and in a country which looked like it would be the last place on earth for this to happen. Well CA, welcome to the club.
There's been a variety of warning signs over the past years that the ad funded data slurping business model was on shaky ground, especially in Europe. Well, they've had plenty of time to consider their business model lest some legislative catastrophe smite them from an unexpected angle. And so it's happened.
If they don't start taking the risk to their continued profitability seriously, their shareholders are quite rightly going to be furious. And they may see an extinction of their business (Facebook), or a severe curtailment of their revenue (Google). I've been saying for a while now that the companies should take a brave pill and just conduct business in a normal way; charge for their services. Microsoft seem to do quite well by that (selling O365). Why can't Google or Facebook charge too? Are they afraid that no one will buy them?
And that's the problem. Google's search, maps, perhaps gmail are useful services for which Google could probably get away with charging $5 / year. I'd pay that, possibly even a bit more, but it'd better be slurp free. But Facebook? SnapChat? WhatsApp? Instagram? A lot of these are of dubious appeal, especially as they all do basically similar things. A lot of these are going to fall by the wayside.
The problem that would then arise is that Google and WhatsApp would become actual monopolies, the last ones left standing, followed by regulation, followed then by enforced open standards, and a break up of the companies, just as happened to the telecoms industry all those decade ago. If this happens, it's a disaster for today's shareholders. Also if today's new law leads to the decline of the companies and the burning up of their cash piles to stay in business / maintain share price, one day there's going to be nothing left.