Warren Says Tech Giants Have 'Too Much Power,' Need Breakup

Warren Says Tech Giants Have 'Too Much Power,' Need Breakup

Senator Elizabeth Warren said on Friday that if elected us president she would seek to break up Amazon.com Inc., Alphabet Inc.'s Google and Facebook Inc.as part of a structural change to the tech sector aimed at promoting competition. In Warren's post on Friday, Apple was not mentioned.

"To restore the balance of power in our democracy, to promote competition, and to ensure that the next generation of technology innovation is as vibrant as the last, it's time to break up our biggest tech companies".

In a blog post published on Medium, the Democratic senator from MA who is running for president in 2020, argued that all three companies have become far too dominant.

[T] hose that have an annual global revenue of $25 billion or more, and those with annual revenue of $90 million to $25 billion. They would be forbidden from owning a platform utility - like a social network or e-commerce marketplace - and participating in it. Amazon, for example, would not be allowed to sell its own products on its marketplace. Warren would also split up Amazon entities such as Amazon Marketplace and AmazonBasics. Google has clashed with smaller companies, like Yelp, over search placements.

Meanwhile, Warren wants to reverse "illegal and anti-competitive tech mergers" via appointed regulators.

"That means we break Facebook away from Instagram and WhatsApp, Amazon away from Whole Foods, Google away from Nest, and more", Warren wrote in a campaign email. The first half of the Donald Trump presidency has seen the president spar with Amazon and charge Google and Facebook with anti-conservative bias. When Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg appeared before Congress past year after the Cambridge Analytica fiasco, he acknowledged that regulation is "inevitable" given that "the internet is growing in importance around the world in people's lives".

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"The federal government sued Microsoft for violating anti-monopoly laws and eventually reached a settlement", she writes.

"With fewer competitors entering the market, the big tech companies do not have to compete as aggressively in key areas like protecting our privacy", she said. "We required a structural separation between the network and other businesses, and also demanded that the network offer fair and non-discriminatory service".

Warren's proposal has two main elements. "You'll still be able to go on Google and search like you do today". Amazon, for example, she said, has grown so powerful that it can "bully cities and states into showering them with massive taxpayer handouts in exchange for doing business".

The liberal activist group Demand Progress has previously called for the USA government to break up Facebook by forcing it to sell Instagram, WhatsApp and Messenger.

The Federal Trade Commission said in February it would consider antitrust action against the tech giants.

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