Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) is planning to unveil a bold proposal to break up Big Tech. 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.
Warren will reportedly call for greater regulation of the biggest companies, as well as more scrutiny of their acquisitions. The large companies facing stricter rules would be broken up into two categories, according to the New York Times:
[T]hose that have an annual global revenue of $25 billion or more, and those with annual revenue of $90 million to $25 billion. The upper tier would be required to “structurally separate” their products from their marketplace. Smaller companies would be subject to regulations but would not be forced to separate themselves from the online marketplace.
Essentially, Warren wants to create a check on these behemoths and their power. In a statement to the New York Times she said, “We need to stop this generation of big tech companies from throwing around their political power to shape the rules in their favor, and throwing around their economic power to snuff out or buy up every potential competitor.”
Facebook, Amazon, and Google run the internet. In fact, Big Tech spent almost $50 million dollars in lobbying last year. They know they have a lot to lose if Washington starts putting the interests of consumers first. #BreakUpBigTech pic.twitter.com/QbMyw4wlO2
— Elizabeth Warren (@ewarren) March 8, 2019
This comes as more people are beginning to look critically at tech companies and their enormous, often unchecked growth. Amazon, for instance, is loved by consumers, but increasingly seen as a ubiquitous and even frightening platform whose tentacles stretch across areas ranging from e-commerce and cloud hosting to advertising and entertainment. The company is enormously profitable, and yet it reportedly didn’t pay any federal tax last year.
Similarly, Google and Facebook are facing increasing criticism about their data collection practices and command over the digital ad market.
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. We’ll see if other presidential hopefuls follow her lead and also put pressure on these companies. I reached out to Amazon, Facebook, and Google for comment about Warren’s proposal and will update this post if I hear back.
You can read the full New York Times article here.