Elizabeth Warren wants Amazon, Facebook, other big tech firms broken up

Senator Elizabeth Warren Announces Plan To Break Up Amazon, Google And Facebook

Elizabeth Warren: ‘It’s Time to Break Up’ Amazon, Facebook and Google

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.

Under Warren's proposal, companies with annual global revenue of at least $25 billion, which offer online public marketplaces, exchanges or platforms for connecting third parties, would be designated as "platform utilities" and prohibited from owning any participants on their platforms.

Democratic presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren on Friday rolled out a proposal to break up the biggest US technology companies, saying they have too much control over the economy and Americans' lives.

The senior USA 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.

Warren was set to speak about the policy to supporters Friday in Long Island City, which would've been home to one of Amazon's headquarters in NY but the tech-conglomerate pulled out of the deal after critics said the city gave them unfair government incentives.

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She is the first in the Democrats' crowded 2020 field to stake out such aggressive territory on an issue that could shape debate in the primary election.

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. So would requiring Google to divest DoubleClick, the company it acquired in 2008 that vastly expanded the reach of its advertising network.

Tech companies are some of the biggest political donors.

Similarly, Google and Facebook are facing increasing criticism about their data collection practices and command over the digital ad market.

Even web users could sue Amazon, Facebook and Google if they violated Warren's proposed federal rules. This would, for example, forbid Amazon from selling on its Amazon Marketplace platform.

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Politically speaking, Warren's stance against Big Tech is a way to position herself as a progressive Democratic candidate who will take corporations to task. Tech companies themselves are yet to respond.

This comes as more people are beginning to look critically at tech companies and their enormous, often unchecked growth.

The Computer & Communications Industry Association, which represents the three firms cited by Ms Warren, disputed her analysis. "Never before have consumers and workers had more access to goods, services, and opportunities online", said Carl Szabo, vice president and general counsel for NetChoice. However small businesses would have more chance of gaining visibility, whether that be surfacing higher on search results or competing with Amazon. Google spent $21 million to lobby in 2018 while Amazon spent $14.2 million and Facebook spent $12.62 million, according to their filings to U.S. Congress.

The senator's blog post doesn't put Apple on her hit list, but spokesperson Saloni Sharma told CNBC that Warren wants the company's App Store to be a separate entity.

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

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