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

Boys bye

Boys bye

First, it would enact a law that turns big tech companies with global revenue of $25 billion or more into "Platform Utilities".

Warren, for example, offered that under her plan, Amazon Marketplace, Google's ad exchange and Google Search would be considered "platform utilities" and split apart.

"Today's big tech companies have too much power - too much power over our economy, our society, and our democracy", Warren wrote in a blog post about the plan.

The senior U.S. senator and a leading candidate for the Democratic nomination said the companies had "bulldozed competition and tilted the playing field in their favour" as she laid out a plan for strict antitrust rules. "As these companies have grown larger and more powerful, they have used their resources and control over the way we use the internet to squash small businesses and innovation, and substitute their own financial interests for the broader interests of the American people", Warren wrote.

At the same time, the senator argues, antitrust has been weakly enforced. The plan would also aim to curtail mergers between companies like Facebook's acquisition of Instagram and WhatsApp.

Beyond regulation, sentiment for antitrust enforcement and actually breaking up existing companies gathered steam under a movement that some derisively called Hipster Antitrust.

Warren has presented herself as a presidential candidate who will appeal to voters with detailed policy proposals on big issues and a fiery populist tone. As companies consolidate across industries, policy activists such as Stoller are seeking to challenge the traditional focus on business efficiency and consumer benefits.

This is a developing story.

Warren's Medium post references Microsoft and how the USA government successfully cowed that belligerent monopolist nearly 20 years ago.

With fewer competitors, Warren said big tech doesn't have to compete as aggressively in critical areas such as privacy protection. "Every day brings some creepy new revelation about these companies' behaviours". Since Warren said this would be accomplished with legislation, it would require cooperation from Congress. She says these companies have "bulldozed competition".

Warren said "weak antitrust enforcement" has resulted in a reduction of competition and innovation in the tech sector.

Tech companies are some of the biggest political donors.

Representatives for Facebook, Twitter and Alphabet, Google's owner, have all pledged that they are attempting to find new ways to protect their social networks from sowing discord in America after they were accused of doing little to prevent Russian efforts to manipulate the 2016 election.

Warren, a Massachusetts Democrat, called out Facebook, Amazon, and Google in particular, but her plan covers any large tech company engaging in what she considers to be anti-competitive behavior.

She announced her bid to run against President Donald Trump in February.

"Here's what will change", she continues.

Even web users could sue Amazon, Facebook and Google if they violated Warren's proposed federal rules.

Senator Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota is the top Democrat on the Judiciary Committee's antitrust subcommittee.

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