by Chris White
Sen. Elizabeth Warren released a plan Friday to wallop big tech companies like Facebook, Google and Amazon as the Massachusetts Democrat works to differentiate herself among fellow presidential candidates.
Her proposal would impose new rules on tech companies with $25 billion or more in annual ad revenue, forcing Amazon and Google to dramatically reduce their hold on online commerce. The plan would also aim to curtail mergers between companies like Facebook’s acquisition of Instagram and WhatsApp.
“Today’s big tech companies have too much power — 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. And in the process, they have hurt small businesses and stifled innovation,” Warren wrote in a blog post Friday.
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.” Warren is expected to promote the idea Friday evening in Long Island City, New York, where Amazon was planning to build a monster campus before the online company backed out following local opposition.
Forcing Google to abandon mergers with the likes of DoubleClick would seriously harm its ability to pull in revenue. Separating the company from its ad business would make Google ads much less valuable. Warren’s proposal would also prevent Amazon from selling its own products through its platform.
Warren’s plan could drop a proverbial bomb on the Democratic primary.
Many Democrats are considering a run at the White House, such as former Texas Rep. Beto O’Rourke, who relied on roughly $1 million in donations during the 2018 election cycle from 20 employees associated with universities and tech companies. Employees at Google’s parent company Alphabet gave more than $157,189 to O’Rourke’s 2018 senatorial campaign.
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