United States presidential candidate Warren says to break up big tech companies

11 March, 2019, 10:38 | Author: Mary Valdez
  • The Associated Press

Firebrand Senator Elizabeth Warren set her sights on America's largest technology corporations this week; suggesting the U.S. government should "break up" giant companies; including Facebook, Google, and Amazon.

Warren also proposed legislation that would require tech companies like Google and Amazon that offer an online marketplace or exchange to refrain from competing on their own platform. One is ensuring that regulators are committed to blocking or reversing "illegal and anti-competitive tech mergers", she wrote, citing Amazon buying Whole Foods, Facebook's acquiring WhatsApp and Instagram, and Google controlling Waze, Nest and DoubleClick.

The outcome of the post - in addition to laying out a pretty badass plan for promoting increased competition and accountability in tech - is that Warren just made breaking up Big Tech a Big Issue for the 2020 democratic primaries, and potentially even 2020 presidential election. "They've bulldozed competition and tilted the playing field in their favor".

"We have these giant tech companies that think they rule the earth", she told a crowd of about 300 people in Long Island City. To improve the security of users' personal data, companies would not be allowed to transfer or share this data with third party firms. Amazon was down 0.7% at 10:45 a.m.in NY, while Facebook and Google were little changed.

Regardless of their feelings about tech companies, Republicans are likely to oppose any plan based on such a sweeping increase in government regulation.

The Friday night event wasn't a formal rally or speech, and instead featured a number of local politicians including New York City Council Deputy Leader Jimmy van Bramer and New York state senator Michael Gianaris - both vocal opponents of the deal to bring Amazon to New York. Amazon Marketplace and Basics, and Google's ad exchange and Google Search would be termed as platform utilities.

Second, Warren said she would push legislation that would label key services - such as Amazon's marketplace for goods and Google search - as "platform utilities", which would have to be spun off from those tech giants' business on those platforms.

"I'm glad to see the dangers of monopolistic market power being taken seriously by a leading presidential candidate", Ms. Salazar said in a statement to CNN.

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Warren's proposal would also prevent Amazon from selling its own branded products through its platform, resulting in lost revenue for the company but not killing the business model of taking a cut of every other transaction on the website.

Warren's presidential campaign shared with CNN details of the plan, which outlines specific measures to break up large tech companies.

Other candidates such as Sens.

What's new. Warren's proposal is notable not simply because it makes the case for antitrust action against Amazon, Facebook and Google, but for the specificity of her prescription.

Tech companies have come under fire due to their role in displacing existing businesses.

Warren's plan would create two different tiers of tech firms.

Kim Clay, a 23-year-old law student, who lives two blocks from the Long Island City site that would have housed Amazon's HQ2 said she was anxious about "getting priced out of my apartment".


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