(Reuters) – Senator Elizabeth Warren vowed yesterday to break up Amazon.com Inc, Alphabet Inc’s Google and Facebook Inc if elected U.S. president to promote competition in the tech sector.
Warren, who is seeking to stand out in a crowded field of Democratic presidential candidates, said in a blog post that on their way to the top, the big tech companies purchased a long list of potential competitors, like Facebook’s acquisition of Instagram.
“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 post https://medium.com/@teamwarren/heres-how-we-can-break-up-big-tech-9ad9e0da324c on Medium.
Warren said she would nominate regulators who would unwind acquisitions such as Facebook’s deals for WhatsApp and Instagram, Amazon’s deals for Whole Foods and Zappos, and Google’s purchases of Waze, Nest and DoubleClick.
Investors shrugged off her comments. Shares of Facebook closed up 0.3 percent on Friday, while Alphabet fell 0.08 percent and Amazon.com lost 0.3 percent.
It is rare for the government to seek to undo a consummated deal.
The most famous case in recent memory is the government’s effort to break up Microsoft. The Justice Department won a preliminary victory in 2000 but was reversed on appeal. The case settled with Microsoft intact.
Warren also proposed legislation that would require tech companies like Google and Amazon that offer an online marketplace or exchange to refrain from competing on their own platform. This would, for example, forbid Amazon itself from selling on its Amazon Marketplace platform.
Amazon and Google did not immediately respond to requests for comment. Facebook declined comment.