Presidential candidate seeks to punish giant tech firms like Facebook, Amazon, Google and Apple

Presidential candidate seeks to punish giant tech firms like Facebook, Amazon, Google and Apple
Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass) has already thrown her hat in the ring and is one of a number of Democrats seeking the party's nomination for the 2020 presidential election. In a blog post published today, Warren announced a proposal to break up the country's largest technology companies including Amazon, Apple, Facebook and Google. Warren's plan calls for regulators to be appointed who would be tasked with the job of unwinding tech mergers that "illegally undermine competition."

For example, under Warren's proposal, Facebook would be forced to unwind its purchases of Instagram and WhatsApp. Google would be forced to give navigation app Waze its independence along with Nest and Double click, and Amazon would have to relinquish Whole Foods and Zappos. To improve the security of users' personal data, companies would not be allowed to transfer or share this data with third party firms. Right now, some firms share this information with third party firms to help them sell targeted advertising.


Warren's plan would create two different tiers of tech firms. One group would include those companies grossing $25 billion or more globally. Called "Platform Utilities," these firms would not be allowed to own an online marketplace and sell their own products on it. Amazon Marketplace and its AmazonBasic brand is an example. Warren says that this will allow smaller companies to sell their wares on Amazon without having to face competition from Amazon itself. Under this proposal, Google would be forced to spin off its search business. The other group would consist of companies reporting global revenues under $25 billion annually. While  firms in this group would also face some regulations, these smaller companies would not face the same restrictions on selling its own products on commerce sites they own.

The plan also would allow State Attorneys General, or injured consumers, to sue when a company has violated the new rules. Any company found to have violated these regulations would be forced to pay a fine equal to 5% of the firm's global revenue.

Warren isn't the only Democratic presidential candidate seeking to impose more regulations on tech firms. Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders and Minnesota Senator Amy Klobuchar have both sought to reel in tech companies. California Senator Kamala Harris, who represents firms located in the state such as Apple and Google, has focused on the hot button issue of consumer privacy. She has yet to address limiting the influence that tech giants wield.

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27 Comments

1. blac.inc

Posts: 59; Member since: May 16, 2018

This isn't going to be good.

2. ph00ny

Posts: 2002; Member since: May 26, 2011

This is the same lady that claimed American Indian as her race right?

4. sissy246

Posts: 7006; Member since: Mar 04, 2015

Thats her, lol No worry, she will never get it.

19. Phullofphil

Posts: 1752; Member since: Feb 10, 2009

Neither will trump. She is not a stupid person. s**t gets taken out of context. Also peopl hold other peopl to an unrealistic idealism that they can’t match up to themselves

21. gazmatic

Posts: 807; Member since: Sep 06, 2012

Trump is literally president and 8s going to be reelected if he doesn't die

23. tedkord

Posts: 17133; Member since: Jun 17, 2009

Not likely.

22. sissy246

Posts: 7006; Member since: Mar 04, 2015

Yep Dump is a idiot and i sure as hell hope he doesn't get it, and she is just as much a idiot.

8. lyndon420

Posts: 6517; Member since: Jul 11, 2012

Too funny lol.

3. KakashiHatake4444

Posts: 74; Member since: Jul 30, 2018

Hehe.... Facebook you scared?

5. LawnBoy

Posts: 133; Member since: Feb 23, 2019

I agree with her on this point.....everything else, she is a liar

10. Vogue1985

Posts: 386; Member since: Jan 24, 2017

ahahahahah

6. cncrim

Posts: 1573; Member since: Aug 15, 2011

Agree with her merger is anticompetition. And too bad, it will be uphill battle for any politician go against big corporations, at least I haven’t see one win without support them.

7. true1984

Posts: 864; Member since: May 23, 2012

which ones supported trump?

24. tedkord

Posts: 17133; Member since: Jun 17, 2009

Ok, major corporations or enemy nations. Better?

9. BL4NKF4CE

Posts: 122; Member since: Aug 06, 2017

None of the ones mentioned supported trump. In fact, they all openly opposed trump.

11. Vogue1985

Posts: 386; Member since: Jan 24, 2017

You can openly oppose and finacial support at the same time. But you are right

12. Deadeye37

Posts: 288; Member since: Jan 25, 2011

This would be such a hot mess. Funny thing is that she never mentioned Apple (this article does, several other articles do not), but they would have to be broken up also.

13. WilliamH

Posts: 17; Member since: Dec 24, 2012

So I’m always interested to ask people who were around when Att was broken up, and they always reply that most big tech firms are bigger now than the telecom companies ever were. But, for the life of me, I can’t imagine how to break up Apple. Like, a rule for no new mergers or something, but their portfolio is so much smaller than all the others?

15. Doakie

Posts: 2478; Member since: May 06, 2009

They'd have to break up the desktop division from the mobile division and possibly break up the software into smaller companies Apple Music, the Appstore etc. This is going to be a sheet show.

20. vincelongman

Posts: 5628; Member since: Feb 10, 2013

Splitting off iMessage would actually be a huge boost to competition in the US And splitting off their SoC developement team would give Qualcomm and Intel/AMD some competition Some of her suggestion don't really make sense e.g. Nest has good competition, don't see how we'd benefit from it be forced from Google Splitting off YouTube and breaking it into 2 competing services would be better Whole Foods was struggling before it was acquired by Amazon. They'd just get bought by someone else. Would be better of splitting their delivery service for competition for UPS/FedEx

14. chris2k5

Posts: 239; Member since: Nov 17, 2012

Well her candidacy just went up in flames...that’s the worst possible thing to propose. If you break up the tech companies they lose money. Where will they get money to make up for it? Yup by charging customers more.

16. Doakie

Posts: 2478; Member since: May 06, 2009

She's an idiot socialist, she's not concerned with companies or individuals making money she's just going to steal money from the companies and the populace for govt use.

27. ph00ny

Posts: 2002; Member since: May 26, 2011

I highly doubt any of these folks are real socialist (except maybe Bernie). I think they're all riding the wave and turn at any moment to cement their candidacy

17. phonearenaviewer

Posts: 48; Member since: Jan 22, 2014

Pocahontas

26. tedkord

Posts: 17133; Member since: Jun 17, 2009

She is off in left field,but she's not totally wrong. We do need to stop the huge mega mergers. As far as breaking up companies, I'd support splitting broadband and content. Comcast and NBC should never have been allowed to merge. AT&T/Direct TV, etc...other than that only monopolies.

28. ph00ny

Posts: 2002; Member since: May 26, 2011

At the same time, if you look at these mergers from another perspective, it makes these companies more cost efficient instead of trying to compete with each other for small piece of the spectrum constantly for a ridiculous price. Also able to bring more service to their existing customers

29. tedkord

Posts: 17133; Member since: Jun 17, 2009

Less competition NEVER brings more value or service to customers. It only brings higher prices and less service.

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