The great divide: In a blog post, Warren, a Democratic senator from MA, said that if she wins office in 2020, she's going to push for legislation that labels companies running online marketplaces with revenue of $25 billion or more as "platform utilities".
Warren, an antitrust advocate who hammered big banks following the 2007-2009 financial crisis, said she would select regulators who would seek to break up what she called "anti-competitive mergers" such as Facebook's recent buyout of Instagram and Amazon's purchase of Whole Foods.
Warren says the biggest tech companies have "too much power over our economy, our society, and our democracy". They've bulldozed competition, used our private information for profit, and tilted the playing field against everyone else.
Warren is holding a rally in Long Island City, Queens on Friday night, where Amazon was set to open a new headquarters before it cancelled its plans amid fierce local pushback.
With fewer competitors, Warren said big tech doesn't have to compete as aggressively in critical areas such as privacy protection.
Warren called for legislation that would ban these utilities from owning "both the platform utility and any participants on that platform" and could not transfer or share data with third parties.
Warren argued that federal anti-monopoly pressure on Microsoft in the 1990s helped pave the way for Internet companies like Google.
Warren pointed to Amazon Marketplace, Google's ad exchange, and Google Search as examples of platform utilities.
"Aren't we all glad that now we have the option of using Google instead of being stuck with Bing?"
What's new. Warren's proposal is notable not simply because it makes the case for antitrust action against Amazon, Facebook and Google, but for the specificity of her prescription. Google couldn't smother competitors by demoting their products on Google Search.
She added: "That's why my Administration will make big, structural changes to the tech sector to promote more competition-including breaking up Amazon, Facebook, and Google".
The result, Warren highlighted, is stifled competition in the tech industry and increased privacy risks to users. "Small businesses would have a fair shot to sell their products on Amazon without the fear of Amazon pushing them out of business".
Meanwhile, Warren wants to reverse "illegal and anti-competitive tech mergers" via appointed regulators.
The liberal activist group Demand Progress has previously called for the USA government to break up Facebook by forcing it to sell Instagram, WhatsApp and Messenger.
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