Elizabeth Warren proposes breaking up giant tech companies like Amazon and Facebook

Elizabeth Warren

Elizabeth Warren

They've bulldozed competition, used our private information for profit, and tilted the playing field against everyone else.

Warren is seeking to stand out in a Democratic field crowded with progressives vying to take on U.S. President Donald Trump in the 2020 election.

In a lengthy description of the tech-busting policy Friday, Warren criticized the system for allowing companies to complete mergers that snap up competitors, and by using their own marketplaces to drown out other companies. In the post, Warren argued that it's essential to crack down on the unfair market advantage enjoyed by Amazon, Facebook, and Google in order to boost competition and fuel innovation.

"We must ensure that today's tech giants do not crowd out potential competitors, smother the next generation of great tech companies, and wield so much power that they can undermine our democracy", Warren said Friday. Agreeing with Warren, she added, "The big tech monsters are conglomerates with too much power that they use to extract wealth and data from all us of us as if we are subjects in their feudal regimes".

But her point is that today's big tech companies, which only exist because Microsoft was busy fending off its antitrust issues, are too powerful.

Warren said that she would nominate regulators who would unwind acquisitions such as Facebook's deals for WhatsApp and Instagram, Amazon's deals for Whole Foods and Zappos, and Google's purchases of Waze, Nest and DoubleClick.

What would breaking up big tech look like?

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Warren made her political mark by going after big banks after the 2007-2009 financial crisis.

There have been increasing calls in the press, government, and legal worlds that our current tech giants constitute monopolies the likes of which we haven't seen since the Gilded Age, and that we need to give them the Gilded Age treatment.

U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren answers questions from reporters after speaking at Plymouth State University in Plymouth, N.H., February 23, 2019.

Warren proposed two ways of restoring competition to the tech sector, including passing legislation that would designate the large platforms as "platform utilities" and reversing already approved mergers, which she deemed "illegal and anti-competitive". A company found to violate these requirements would also have to pay a fine of 5 percent of annual revenue.

Warren made the pitch before a town hall appearance on Friday in the NY neighbourhood where Amazon recently abandoned plans to open a new headquarters after a fierce backlash from progressive activists.

One such critic was Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, backed by supporters in groups like Democratic Socialists for America.

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