Think about computer technologies, and U.S. companies clearly dominate. Microsoft for PC software, Yahoo! for content, eBay and Amazon.com for shopping, Google for search.
Of course, there are exceptions (Skype, Baidu, Opera, etc.), and these industries are all global, so it's a bit of a blurred picture.
But think about mobile technology and how people use it, and the U.S. is not necessarily on top. European and Asian companies have been ahead of the curve for a long time.
Now some European companies are making bold moves to try to shake their dependence on US computer and Internet giants.
In the news today, an alliance of Europe's biggest telecom companies aims to create its own mobile phone search engine to challenge Yahoo! and Google. The group includes Vodaphone, France Telecom, Deutsche Telecom, and one American network: Cingular.
While calls are becoming cheaper, the search advertising market is large and lucrative, and these companies say Google is getting too much of the pie. But for all its influence in search, Google's mobile offerings are limited.
Another example today comes from a Norwegian company trying to market its own advertising platform as an alternative to Google, Yahoo! and Microsoft.
Fast Search and Transfer says its AdMomentum offers a one-stop solution for Web sites that don't want to share revenue with Google or the other big networks.