FAANGs out! Warren unveils plan for busting up the big tech companies

Senator Elizabeth Warren Announces Plan To Break Up Amazon, Google And Facebook

In a blog post, Warren said she'll pursue the plan if she wins the presidency.

Warren said that as president, she would press for legislation to designate big online companies with revenues of $25bn or more as "platform utilities" barred from owning "any participants on that platform". Warren's plan would also prohibit companies from transferring or sharing users' private data with third parties. Elizabeth Warren speaks to local residents, in the Queens borough of NY. We'll see if other presidential hopefuls follow her lead and also put pressure on these companies. The move would alleviate one of the biggest concerns of other sellers on the marketplace - that Amazon can determine which products are featured and promoted more prominently. "Therefore, Amazon Marketplace and Basics, and Google's ad exchange and businesses on the exchange would be split apart", Warren suggests.

The ideas Warren is presenting are in line with the increasing public backlash against Silicon Valley, but her approach may be hard to implement, antitrust experts said on Friday. That includes Amazon's acquisitions of Whole Foods and Zappos, Facebook's purchase of WhatsApp and Instagram, and Google's deals with Waze, Nest, and DoubleClick.

Second, my administration would appoint regulators committed to reversing illegal and anti-competitive tech mergers.

Notably, Warren's plan did not call out Apple, a tech company that has frequently been named the most valuable publicly traded company in the U.S. When asked, a spokesperson for Warren's campaign said Apple was indeed targeted by the policy. That would also require cooperation from Congress-the Senate has to confirm the president's nomination of a Justice Department antitrust chief, for example.

Facebook declined to comment, while its counterparts didn't immediately respond to requests for comment.

Facebook spokeswoman Monique Hall said the company had no comment on Warren's proposal. We'll update this article if we receive any responses from Amazon or Google.

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Warren's Medium post references Microsoft and how the US government successfully cowed that belligerent monopolist nearly 20 years ago.

Warren contends that the U.S. antitrust case against Microsoft, which began in the 1990s, opened a pathway that allowed Google to emerge.

"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. The FTC recently launched a task force focused on tech competition and would be in position to analyze cases, weigh both the interests of consumers and those of companies and decide whether to expand its interpretation to cover new types of problems. Warren says that this will allow smaller companies to sell their wares on Amazon without having to face competition from Amazon itself. "They have enormous political power", Warren told the audience, describing the industry's lobbying expenditures as a "good return on investment if they can keep Washington from enforcing the antitrust laws".

Warren made her political mark by going after big banks after the 2007-2009 financial crisis.

Public Knowledge, a tech policy group, called Warren's plan a step towards protecting the next generation of businesses, but stopped short of full-throated support for breaking up the tech giants.

"The proposal ignores the fact that numerous services big tech companies now provide free used to cost consumers money".

"It would be a big uphill fight to get this legislation through", she said. "Google Search would have to be spun off as well". Now she says there's a conflict between the search giant's roles selling and buying online ads and notes that Amazon may abuse its ability to compete with the third-party vendors that sell through its site.

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