U.S. presidential hopeful Elizabeth Warren wants to break up Amazon, Facebook, and Google and “unwind” all their recent acquisitions.
“Facebook, Amazon, and Google have vast power over our economy and democracy,” Ms. Warren tweeted today, linking to a Medium post that goes into greater detail about her plans. “They’ve bulldozed competition and tilted the playing field in their favor. Time to break up these companies so they don’t have so much power over everyone else.”
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Warren’s Medium post references Microsoft and how the U.S. government successfully cowed that belligerent monopolist almost 20 years ago. It also inexplicably pokes fun at Microsoft.
“The federal government sued Microsoft for violating anti-monopoly laws and eventually reached a settlement,” she writes. “The government’s antitrust case against Microsoft helped clear a path for Internet companies like Google and Facebook to emerge. The story demonstrates why promoting competition is so important: it allows new, groundbreaking companies to grow and thrive — which pushes everyone in the marketplace to offer better products and services. Aren’t we all glad that now we have the option of using Google instead of being stuck with Bing?”
But her point is that today’s big tech companies, which only exist because Microsoft was busy fending off its antitrust issues, are too powerful.
“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,” she continues. “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.”
Warren’s plan goes beyond just breaking up these companies. She always wants to reverse what she calls “illegal and anti-competitive tech mergers.” Which, by the way, all met regulatory scrutiny. She would like to “unwind” the mergers and acquisitions that brought Whole Foods and Zappos to Amazon; WhatsApp and Instagram to Facebook; and Waze, Nest, and DoubleClick to Google. This will institute real change in the tech industry, she says.
“You’ll still be able to go on Google and search like you do today,” she explains. “You’ll still be able to go on Amazon and find 30 different coffee machines that you can get delivered to your house in two days. You’ll still be able to go on Facebook and see how your old friend from school is doing”
“Here’s what will change,” she continues. “Small businesses would have a fair shot to sell their products on Amazon without the fear of Amazon pushing them out of business. Google couldn’t smother competitors by demoting their products on Google Search. Facebook would face real pressure from Instagram and WhatsApp to improve the user experience and protect our privacy. Tech entrepreneurs would have a fighting chance to compete against the tech giants.”
Honestly, the outcome sounds pretty reasonable. It’s just that reversing mergers and acquisitions that were approved in the past sounds awfully illegal.
<blockquote><em><a href="#410220">In reply to MikeGalos:</a></em></blockquote><p>Exactly.</p>
<blockquote><em><a href="#410346">In reply to lvthunder:</a></em></blockquote><p>No, they'll be overjoyed by a big news story they can get more eyeballs from. Why do you think they gave Trump so much free airtime during the 2016 election campaign? Profit is their primary goal.</p>
<blockquote><em><a href="#410337">In reply to bobby2626:</a></em></blockquote><p>The Microsoft anti-trust case resulted in remedies that were consistent with its fundamental purpose – to benefit MS's competitors. Ironically most of those competitors are now history.</p>
<blockquote><em><a href="#410930">In reply to hrlngrv:</a></em></blockquote><p>Sun and Netscape, viable or not reaped the benefits of the anti-trust case.</p>
<p>As someone who doesn't want to see Trump re-elected, I'm dismayed about Democrats failing to choose their battles carefully. It's like they're playing into the oppositions hands. Sanders could have had the same exact policy proposals without labeling himself a "Democratic Socialist" and he (and some other candidates) should have realized that many voters are incapable of understanding the difference between that term and the "socialism" they've been taught is evil. I suspect Trump's sudden interest in condemning the regime in Venezuela (as opposed to a failure to condemn even worse regimes in North Korea, Russia, and Saudi Arabia) is related to the Venezuela == socialism trope.</p>
<blockquote><em><a href="#410374">In reply to skane2600:</a></em></blockquote><p>As someone that doesn't want to see Trump appointed as well I have to disagree. I like the debate of ideas on the Democratic side. And as someone that is on the left I appreciate that we finally have a voice in the party. </p>
<blockquote><em><a href="#410447">In reply to provision l-3:</a></em></blockquote><p>The left has had a voice in the Democratic party for decades. </p>
<blockquote><em><a href="#410537">In reply to skane2600:</a></em></blockquote><p>Not really, What is typically called the left in the U.S. is fairly middle of road when compared to the left in any other western country. </p>
<blockquote><em><a href="#410615">In reply to provision l-3:</a></em></blockquote><p>I don't see the relevance of a comparison to other countries. You could argue that people like Sanders and Warren also have little in common with the left in other western countries.</p>
<blockquote><em><a href="#410627">In reply to skane2600:</a></em></blockquote><p>Fair enough, then we simply are going to have to disagree on this one. </p>
<blockquote><em><a href="#410927">In reply to hrlngrv:</a></em></blockquote><p>Yes. I have to laugh when I remember that one of my most conservative friends once helped in the McGovern campaign in 1972. </p>
<p> It's interesting to consider how much of the fundamental technology we use today was developed by the big former monopolies of IBM, Xerox and AT&T. </p>
<p>I would be happy to debate this argument, but looking at who it's coming from………LOL. Elizabeth Warren is nuts. You can't debate a socialist nut. They're crazy, especially when she calls herself a Cherokee indian because of her cheek bones. People like this should move to France where they are all dumb.</p>
<blockquote><em><a href="#410418">In reply to Bats:</a></em></blockquote><p>Some good has come from her. She was the one who first proposed the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. Although she has no affiliation with any Native American tribe, she did prove she had Native American ancestry. She was mocked for lying about it and then mocked for proving she wasn't lying. It's an invented issue.</p>
<blockquote><em><a href="#410441">In reply to NoFlames:</a></em></blockquote><p>"According to the report, Warren’s test results show that she is of “primarily European descent,” but also that she has at least five genetic segments that are “Native American in origin at high confidence.”"</p><p><br></p><p>The test was conducted by Carlos Bustamante who is considered an expert and in fact is an adviser to both 23andMe and Ancestry.com. </p><p><br></p><p>Do you have evidence that she "got ahead" because of her claim of partial Native American ancestry? Either a Native American was displaced or was not. There's nothing to presume. </p>
<blockquote><em><a href="#410566">In reply to locust infested orchard inc:</a></em></blockquote><p>I think a rebuttal is within your own post. Native Americans don't have DNA unrelated to the DNA of other native people's in the Americas. So the absence of DNA from US tribes doesn't invalidate the test. </p>
<blockquote><em><a href="#410603">In reply to Greg Green:</a></em></blockquote><p>To my knowledge she never claimed she was associated with a particular tribe and I suspect that tribal records don't go back more than 100 years at best.</p>
<blockquote><em><a href="#410773">In reply to Greg Green:</a></em></blockquote><p>In terms of who is in a tribe, of course. In terms of science, no.</p>
<blockquote><em><a href="#410926">In reply to hrlngrv:</a></em></blockquote><p>Neither a few lies nor idiosyncratic beliefs about one's family ever stopped anyone from being President. I'm not a Warren supporter, but she's far, far more trustworthy than our current President (but then again, who isn't).</p>
<blockquote><em><a href="#411373">In reply to hrlngrv:</a></em></blockquote><p>Actually, he's not smart enough even to know what is in his own best interest from day to day.</p>
<blockquote><em><a href="#410599">In reply to Greg Green:</a></em></blockquote><p>If you actually posted an argument, I'd consider responding to it..</p>
<blockquote><em><a href="#410774">In reply to Greg Green:</a></em></blockquote><p>I don't like to assume someone's argument no matter how "inherent" it is to them. </p><p><br></p><p>With regard to your clarified argument: You don't have to look any farther than CFPB's actions against Wells Fargo's opening of fraudulent accounts to understand that helping people understand or select a credit card isn't its primary purpose or activity. I think customers who received full refunds thanks to the CFPB, would be happy it exists.</p>
<blockquote><em><a href="#411483">In reply to Greg Green:</a></em></blockquote><p>It's not a question of what other agencies "can" do, but rather what they are willing to do. Besides most of those agencies wouldn't have the authority to resolve the issue with Wells Fargo. None of those agencies are focused on consumer protection and their lack of action to protect consumers in the past is the very reason the CFPB needed to exist. </p><p><br></p><p>I also see how you're trying to throw in Federal regulations in general even though we are specifically discussing CFPB . I suspect that community banks that closed within the last century did so primarily because of simple competition like all other small businesses categories have during that time period. Amazon hasn't taken away business from brick-and-mortar businesses because the latter was overburdened by federal regulations. They did so through economies of scale and the convenience of ordering online.</p>
<blockquote><em><a href="#410418">In reply to Bats:</a></em></blockquote><p>The short version of your comment is "I'd debate this but I can't do on substance so I'll make a bunch of personal attacks instead."</p>
<p>Trump already has it out for Amazon and Google and Facebook. All 3 are the purveyors of Fake News. Praise from Paul for this liberal lunatic whose campaign slogan should be Elizabeth Warren – 1/2020th and yet he's always raging against Trump. </p><p><br></p><p>This isn't news at all, and no way she would actually attempt this. Those 3 companies are shills for all things the democratic party wants. And most importantly, no way she'll win! Have you seen the woman, strike that, the robot have a beer? </p>