Who says conservatives and liberals can’t agree on anything?
News Corp executive chairman Rupert Murdoch is not exactly known as a bastion of progressivism, but his media company has something in common with Democratic presidential hopeful Elizabeth Warren: They’d both like to break up a few Big Tech monopolies. In a petition to Australian regulators this month, News Corp pushed for the breakup of Google’s parent company, Alphabet, which it accused of hurting advertisers, publishers, and consumers with its market power over the search business.
In the petition, submitted to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission, News Corp said Alphabet should be forced to either sell off its Google search business or keep its search business and divest the rest—because as a combined entity, Alphabet is just too powerful.
If that reasoning sounds familiar, it’s because we recently heard a similar argument from Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, who unveiled a plan on Friday to break up big tech companies as a way of diminishing their stranglehold on certain industries. In her proposal, Warren specifically called out Facebook, Amazon, and Google.
Need more proof that breaking up Big Tech is the unifying issue of our age? When Facebook rejected ads from Warren promoting her new plan, none other than Ted Cruz came to her defense. Yes, the same Ted Cruz who recently called Democrats “the party of the Ku Klux Klan.”
First time I’ve ever retweeted @ewarren But she’s right—Big Tech has way too much power to silence Free Speech. They shouldn’t be censoring Warren, or anybody else. A serious threat to our democracy. https://t.co/VoesOKSqhA
— Ted Cruz (@tedcruz) March 12, 2019
It’s worth pointing out here that Facebook did not reject Warren’s ads for political reasons, but rather because they violated a policy on use of its logo, which is honestly just as lame. It eventually let the ads run.
Either way, all of this could produce some interesting Venn diagrams in the lead-up to 2020, as everyone from President Trump to Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) has been critical of technology giants in recent months. One wonders who will be left to defend them.