The other factor at play is that disruptors often cross international boundaries and, because they use new methods of distribution, aren’t subject to laws governing their rivals. For instance, an over-the-top TV content provider doesn’t sell cable or fiber-optic service the way others in the same category do. “As companies are developing these technologies and the technologies are no longer limited by physical proximity, you start crossing the boundaries of jurisdictions in ways we’ve never seen before,” says Charles Araujo, principal analyst at Intellyx. It’s easy enough to regulate a taxi company that’s based in town, he says, but much harder to try to regulate a ride-sharing service that’s headquartered in a different state.

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