1. TechSpot is dedicated to computer enthusiasts and power users. Ask a question and give support. Join the community here.
    TechSpot is dedicated to computer enthusiasts and power users.
    Ask a question and give support.
    Join the community here, it only takes a minute.
    Dismiss Notice

Elizabeth Warren wants to break up Amazon, Facebook and Google

By Shawn Knight · 33 replies
Mar 8, 2019
Post New Reply
  1. US Senator Elizabeth Warren is proposing to break up tech giants Amazon, Facebook and Google should she be elected president in 2020.

    In a post on Medium, the Massachusetts Democrat said today’s big tech companies have too much power over the economy, our society and our democracy. Such companies have bulldozed the competition, she said, adding that they’ve used our private information for profit, hurt small businesses and stifled innovation.

    With fewer competitors, Warren said big tech doesn’t have to compete as aggressively in critical areas such as privacy protection. Amazon, for example, she said, has grown so powerful that it can “bully cities and states into showering them with massive taxpayer handouts in exchange for doing business.”

    Warren said she would appoint regulators to unwind anti-competitive mergers including:

    • Amazon: Whole Foods; Zappos
    • Facebook: WhatsApp; Instagram
    • Google: Waze; Nest; DoubleClick

    Doing so wouldn’t change your ability to visit Google and search for things like you do today, use Amazon to find “30 different coffee machines that you can get delivered to your house in two days,” or use Facebook to see how old friends are doing.

    What will change, however, is that “Google couldn’t smother competitors by demoting their products on Google Search,” small businesses would have a fair shot at selling their products on Amazon without fear of being pushed out of business and “Facebook would face real pressure from Instagram and WhatsApp to improve the user experience and protect our privacy.”

    Permalink to story.

  2. treetops

    treetops TS Evangelist Posts: 2,644   +611

    "She pointed to data suggesting that venture capitalists are now hesitant to fund new start-ups over fear that they’ll be acquired or driven out of business."
    I don't think anyone is afraid of being offered a boat load of money "acquired". My first instinct is to keep these companies as is, since they are some of the most powerful companies in the USA. I really have no clue about the pros n cons atm. But I do think it distracts from the main issue of legal bribes via campaign contributions and lobbying. The government should not be for sale.
    TempleOrion likes this.
  3. lipe123

    lipe123 TS Evangelist Posts: 810   +350

    Big old wtf moment, maybe they need to create anti-lobbying laws first and fix their own government before bothering with the private sector.
  4. Lew Zealand

    Lew Zealand TS Guru Posts: 834   +730

    As usual, politicians are proposing lame work-arounds instead of fixing the actual problem. How about doing this first:

    No lobbying
    No riders on bills
    No private money usable for *anything* related to getting elected

    The shorthand for this is called:

    No corporate or private interference in government.

    It'll never happen of course but It's nice to dream once in a while.
  5. Skjorn

    Skjorn TS Maniac Posts: 404   +226

    The Pocahontas wanabe? Why is this news?
    p51d007 likes this.
  6. Panda218

    Panda218 TS Evangelist Posts: 623   +341

    Like her or not it's news. get over it.

    also it's *Wannabe
  7. Uncle Al

    Uncle Al TS Evangelist Posts: 5,686   +4,029

    They did it to standard oil, AT&T, The Bell companies and quite a few more. Anti-Trust laws were written to protect us and allowing any monopoly harms everyone, no matter what they promise ......
  8. TheBigT42

    TheBigT42 TS Maniac Posts: 341   +240

    And this same government has let AT&T grow back to its massive over baring size.
  9. yRaz

    yRaz Nigerian Prince Posts: 2,960   +2,293

    Shawn, your political opinion is quite obvious in this article. There is nothing partisan about breaking up monopolies to both protect consumers and ensure fair competition.

    Not so much amason, but look at what Facebook and Google are doing with our data. People love to hate facebook and Google and there is a reason for that.
    TempleOrion and PEnnn like this.
  10. techseven

    techseven TS Enthusiast Posts: 28   +22

    “Facebook would face real pressure from Instagram...."

    Well, last time I checked - Facebook owns Instagram :/
  11. toooooot

    toooooot TS Evangelist Posts: 952   +453

    Right... She isn't able to see the most evil of them? Like Comcast, or ATnT? Those that used government money many times failing to improve the infrastructure for the money they took from our taxes.
    I don't like her. The worst of them probably already backed her.
    SteelGrayRider and psycros like this.
  12. Skjorn

    Skjorn TS Maniac Posts: 404   +226

    AcKTUaLlY it isn't news. We all know this is irrelevant. It is more satire than anything.
    psycros likes this.
  13. psycros

    psycros TS Evangelist Posts: 2,823   +2,669

    Its amazing that politicians think there are enough people who are dim-witted and uninformed enough to believe their impossible promises. It even more amazing that they keep getting elected based on those promises. We don't need to break up anything: we just need comprehensive consumer protection laws in place and the rest will take care of itself. It should be illegal for any business to track you across the web, especially when you're not even logged into their services. Same goes for demanding access to things like your phone number, contact list or calendar. Amazon shouldn't be able to buy up an entire chain of stores if the majority of customers oppose it. If enough government officials are really concerned about these monopolies then they should pass legislation that reigns in the bad behavior. Then they can just sit back and wait for Facebook and the other monopolies to break those laws, and then its payday for Uncle Sam. Give a large chunk of that money to American companies and consumers who can prove damage from the anti-competitive actions of Internet leviathans. Soak em' real good a few times and you'll see change. There also need to be laws that prevent rental property owners from pricing existing renters out of a market just because a big company moves into the area. Whether its oil frakking, upper class tourism or Amazon, we're seeing far too many people lose their homes and family businesses this way.
    JaredTheDragon likes this.
  14. JaredTheDragon

    JaredTheDragon TS Guru Posts: 634   +409

    Exactly. It's not news because she's once again misdirecting - and so is Shawn, in this "article". Google and Facebook are NSA and CIA corporations, respectively - you can't "break them up". There's nothing to break them up into, to begin with. Warren knows this, she's simply playing a role and here that role is to promote their validity as actual, real companies with actual, real profits. They of course pilfer and loot everyone they can in every way they can, but all of that is superfluous. Google and Facebook are data-miners first and foremost, and tech companies promoting search engines and social media only as tertiary roles - just like Apple and Microsoft.

    Warren knows this. Shawn knows this too, since he gets paid to pretend otherwise just the same as Warren does. It's one big show and more and more people are becoming aware of it, thus the constant promotion and media hype pretending otherwise. You don't need to sell the truth; it sells itself. Only the fabrications and smoke-screens need this kind of constant reinforcement.
  15. brucek

    brucek TS Maniac Posts: 199   +223

    One of those I never use and don't miss, one I use frequently but feel I could easily replace (and sometimes do), and one I've used heavily for years without ever paying them a dime while having blocked nearly all their advertising.

    I'm much more afraid of bonehead politicians than I am of these three.

    And as entrenched and amazing as they seem today, give it 20 years and I bet there'll be a new group of companies people are talking about.
  16. Tanstar

    Tanstar TS Evangelist Posts: 658   +202

    Breaking that relationship (and similar ones) was LITERALLY the point of her statement and the article.
    Charles Olson and TempleOrion like this.
  17. MaikuTech

    MaikuTech TS Evangelist Posts: 1,075   +188

    Trump has the same idea about breaking them up, I wouldn't be surprised to see him back her up on that issue only.
  18. QuantumPhysics

    QuantumPhysics TS Evangelist Posts: 1,593   +1,190

    "Should Government"....

    MilwaukeeMike and JamesSWD like this.
  19. raydpratt007

    raydpratt007 TS Rookie

    Part of why we elected Trump was the appeal of having someone who knows how to do business and knows how to complete large projects. We need people in public office who can plan correctly and follow plans. Trump is a miserable specimen--four bankruptcies and stiffed workers--but he has gotten things done and that is the kind of experience that we need. Obama's heart may or may not have been in the right place (I doubt it since a former professor of constitutional law ought to care more about it), but the only thing that he ever displayed any real talent at doing was making wonderful speeches.

    I'd rather have deaf mute who can get things done.

    Elizabeth Warren, as an attorney and professor, became one of the most quoted bankruptcy specialists in the United States. She has invested deep thought into both the causes and solutions of financial failure. Her recent proposed legislation to address rising pharmaceutical costs was a well-considered solution for solving the problem short of imposing price controls. She carefully walks the line between respect for capitalism along with concern for the public welfare.

    Her proposed break-up of these tech giants was well considered, and I respect her effort to solve the problems that these tech giants have created and are continuing to create.

    I am not saying that there is only one way to solve the particular problems being cited, but I do want people who know how to carefully think about and solve problems to be in our the highest levels of public office where they can be the most effective. (I had been a Bernie supporter, but I wonder if Bernie actually knows how to think about and solve problems in a step-by-step manner).

    I think that we need to think about Elizabeth Warren as our next President.
    TempleOrion likes this.
  20. Squid Surprise

    Squid Surprise TS Evangelist Posts: 2,605   +1,593

    Are you wearing tinfoil over your head right now? Want to provide any proof for your inane nonsense? CIA and NSA companies? Really?!?
    Charles Olson and TempleOrion like this.
  21. treetops

    treetops TS Evangelist Posts: 2,644   +611

    Hah maybe shes using reverse psychology on Trump. /joke.

    Few things I noticed
    "Amazon, for example, she said, has grown so powerful that it can “bully cities and states into showering them with massive taxpayer handouts in exchange for doing business.”"

    Anyone who is building something on a large scale that will provide tax revenue or jobs is treated the same way. They aren't being bullied, they are begging Amazon to make a factory in their city. Enticing them with tax breaks. No one is forcing them to do anything.

    "What will change, however, is that “Google couldn’t smother competitors by demoting their products on Google Search,” small businesses would have a fair shot at selling their products on Amazon without fear of being pushed out of business and “Facebook would face real pressure from Instagram and WhatsApp to improve the user experience and protect our privacy.”"
    It's googles choice to run their search engine how they see fit. No one is being forced to use it. It's free.. and there are literally thousands of other free options.

    Does she know that Amazon has it's own search feature and is does not solely rely on Google search? Kinda odd that she's trying to smash them together. Did all 3 just hit the same milestone all at once? Amazon also has a competitor called Ebay. That people really underestimate. If ebay made a few basic changes to simplify it for the masses it would easily take a huge chunk out of Amazon. Walmarts online shopping is a real competitor as well, you actually know what your getting from Walmart. People are beginning to notice all the Amazon knock offs.

    Facebook would face pressure to improve user experience? The government does not break up companies to improve them. That has nothing to do with monopolies. It makes her sound like she will say anything to try to get the masses to agree with her. The privacy concerns are real, but we could oh I don't know make laws to protect our privacy? Copy paste our current laws protecting snail mail. Make it a federal crime.

    Social media is here to stay and will continue to have a great deal of influence on people. Myspace was once so powerful Fox bought it. Remember MyFox? If that's not a breach idk what is. Think if MSNBC bought Facebook?

    Facebook will probably be replaced just like Myspace. Really though I don't care about social media, slice it into pieces. Bake it fry it, poop it out. It really needs a disclaimer, "For entertainment purposes only, nothing on here is fact checked".

    Facebook: WhatsApp; Instagram
    These are all free services.....

    Google: Waze; Nest; DoubleClick
    All free but Nest, there are a plethora of other companies that can change your thermostat etc. Google gave everyone free GPS and made it better with Waze. Thank you Google.

    Amazon: Whole Foods; Zappos
    Doesn't really seem like some super trio, say if Amazon merged with Walmart or Ebay then yeah.

    I read up a little on a recent major monopoly break up... Basically Microsoft made a false video about how easy it was to install a competitors web browser on windows and lost. Pretty stupid of them really. They got way to greedy.


    If google made its own phone, which it did. Then put google chrome on it by default. Which it did. Say that phone was the most popular phone out there. Which it is not.Then made it difficult to put any other web browser on the phone. Which they did not. Then they made a false video about how easy it is to etc etc

    Good for her though, she should put some fear into google for getting rid of their do no evil slogan.
    TempleOrion likes this.
  22. learninmypc

    learninmypc TS Evangelist Posts: 8,912   +630

  23. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 15,168   +4,119

  24. RickRick

    RickRick TS Member

    The sad part? Every liberal friend of mine "Amazon is like AT&T when they were broken up!!!!" or "Amazon is the new Standard Oil." They are either too lazy, inept or poorly educated to think for themselves. AT&T was literally the ONLY phone company and the ONLY place you were allowed to get your phone from. And you had to RENT it. Standard? Controlled 100% of the over-rail transportation, set prices nation-wide and controlled the gas in the USA. Don't want to shop at Amazon? There are one million other places to shop.
  25. learninmypc

    learninmypc TS Evangelist Posts: 8,912   +630

Add your comment to this article

You need to be a member to leave a comment. Join thousands of tech enthusiasts and participate.
TechSpot Account You may also...