In brief: Senator Warren who is seeking a presidential candidacy for 2020 says tech giants have used proprietary marketplaces and leveraged mergers to limit competition. She points to data suggesting that venture capitalists are now hesitant to fund new start-ups over fear that they’ll be acquired or driven out of business.
US Senator Elizabeth Warren is proposing to break up tech giants Amazon, Facebook and Google should she be elected president in 2020.
In a post on Medium, the Massachusetts Democrat said today’s big tech companies have too much power over the economy, our society and our democracy. Such companies have bulldozed the competition, she said, adding that they’ve used our private information for profit, hurt small businesses and stifled innovation.
With fewer competitors, Warren said big tech doesn’t have to compete as aggressively in critical areas such as privacy protection. 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.”
Warren said she would appoint regulators to unwind anti-competitive mergers including:
- Amazon: Whole Foods; Zappos
- Facebook: WhatsApp; Instagram
- Google: Waze; Nest; DoubleClick
Doing so wouldn’t change your ability to visit Google and search for things like you do today, use Amazon to find “30 different coffee machines that you can get delivered to your house in two days,” or use Facebook to see how old friends are doing.
What will change, however, is that “Google couldn’t smother competitors by demoting their products on Google Search,” small businesses would have a fair shot at selling their products on Amazon without fear of being pushed out of business and “Facebook would face real pressure from Instagram and WhatsApp to improve the user experience and protect our privacy.”