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Elizabeth Warren proposes breaking up big tech giants, including Amazon and Google

08 March 2019

She added: "That's why my Administration will make big, structural changes to the tech sector to promote more competition-including breaking up Amazon, Facebook, and Google".

The Computer & Communications Industry Association, which represents the three firms cited by Warren, disputed her analysis.

The senator further stressed that such changes will not impact how Americans use Google, Facebook and Amazon. In a speech she'll be giving today in Long Island City, Queens, the Democratic presidential hopeful will discuss her proposal to weaken the monopolistic grip of tech giants such as Amazon, Google, and Facebook, reports the New York Times. 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's call for regulating big tech helps separate her from the rest of the crowded 2020 Democrat presidential field, where many candidates have varying opinions on Silicon Valley's influence.

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. "Gov. Andrew Cuomo and other pro-Amazon politicians need to see the danger of sublimating all facets of our daily lives into a single all-encompassing company, which is clearly Amazon's business model".

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.

Elizabeth Warren proposes breaking up big tech giants, including Amazon and Google
Elizabeth Warren proposes breaking up big tech giants, including Amazon and Google

Notably, Warren's plan did not call out Apple, a tech company that has frequently been named the most valuable publicly traded company in the U.S. When asked, a spokesperson for Warren's campaign said Apple was indeed targeted by the policy.

Companies with an annual global revenue of $25 billion or more and that offer to the public an online marketplace, an exchange, or a platform for connecting third parties would be designated as "platform utilities". "Google Search would have to be spun off as well", she wrote. It's just that reversing mergers and acquisitions that were approved in the past sounds awfully illegal.

Her proposal won't solve every problem, Warren acknowledged.

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

Ideally, however, the moves will give small businesses a shot at selling their products on Amazon without fear that Amazon will introduce its own version of the item or that Google will demote their products on Search in favor of its own, Warren said. Facebook would face real pressure from Instagram and WhatsApp to improve the user experience and protect our privacy.

Elizabeth Warren proposes breaking up big tech giants, including Amazon and Google