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Elizabeth Warren Unveils Proposal to Break Up ‘Big Tech’ Like Amazon Ahead of Long Island City Appearance

An aerial view of Anable basin, where Amazon had planned on building new headquarters. (Kevin P. Coughlin/Office of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo)

March 8, 2019 By Nathaly Pesantez

Elizabeth Warren, the Massachusetts senator who announced her 2020 presidential run last month, has released a proposal to break up tech giants like Amazon, Google and Facebook ahead of her scheduled appearance at an organizing event in Long Island City tonight—the neighborhood where Amazon’s now-scrapped campus plans played out.

Warren published her plan on a Medium post, and said that while Facebook, Google and Amazon have quickly grown to become the most valuable and well-known companies in the world, their sizes highlight “why the government must break up monopolies and promote competitive markets.”

“Today’s big tech companies have too much power — too much power over our economy, our society, and our democracy,” she wrote. “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.”

The senator referenced a 1990s lawsuit the federal government lodged against Microsoft that resulted in a settlement. The case was widely seen as helping clear the way for companies like Google and Facebook to come about.

“The story demonstrates why promoting competition is so important: it allows new, groundbreaking companies to grow and thrive — which pushes everyone in the marketplace to offer better products and services,” she wrote.

via Elizabeth Warren on Facebook

But the landscape has since changed, her post reads, where tech giants have grown by using mergers and proprietary marketplaces, among other actions, to limit competition and subsequently wield immense influence and control that she says threaten to undermine business, innovation and democracy.

Warren vowed, if elected to office, that she would make significant structural changes to the tech sector through two initiatives—one that would involve legislation to limit a given company’s scope, and another to appoint regulators to unwind existing mergers.

Under the legislation, tech companies with an annual revenue of at least $25 billion that operate an online marketplace or platform would be prohibited from participating on that same platform. Amazon, for instance, would not be able to sell its “Basics” products on its own Marketplace under the proposed law.

Regulators under her administration would also unwind Amazon’s merger with Whole Foods and Zappos, and Facebook’s purchase of WhatsApp and Instagram.

The plan, Warren said, wouldn’t solve the myriad issues with tech companies today, including how personal information is used; how content creators stay afloat with current revenue schemes; and social media used to influence elections.

“Those are each tough problems, but the benefit of taking these steps to promote competition is that it allows us to make some progress on each of these important issues too,” she said, adding that her outlined efforts would ultimately work to “protect the future of the internet.”

The senator’s proposal follows the collapse of Amazon’s plan to build corporate headquarters at Anable Basin. Warren, like many nationwide politicians that weighed in on the matter, was critical of the project, and said at the time news broke of canceled plans that “one of the wealthiest companies on the planet–just walked away from billions in taxpayer bribes, all because some elected officials in New York aren’t sucking up to them enough.”

“How long will be allow giant corporations to hold our democracy hostage?” she added.

Amazon, which hit $1 trillion in value last year, faced fierce opposition while its plans were still on the table, with opponents bashing the campus for a variety of reasons, ranging from the complex’s affect on strained area infrastructure, the nearly $3 billion in performance-based tax incentives it could receive as part of the project, and the company’s labor track record.

Warren is set to appear at The Arc, within the Kaufman Arts district, at 7 p.m. for a public campaign organizing event.

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37 Comments

Caucasian Rascal

Love it, love it, LOVE IT!!! Left-wing jackasses in Silicon Valley attacked by their own left-wing Fauxcahontas! This is great stuff! Keep it up, lefties!! TRiUMPh 2020!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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wow, more racism from Trumpeters!

Wow, more racist comments from Trump suppporters.

Bezos is an elite billionaire like Trump, not sure how he counts as “the left”…

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Sara Ross

I wish the same amount of attention (if not more) being given to Amazon would have been given to all of the small business owners who have been forced out by greedy landlords, putting them and their employees out of work. This city was started by small business owners and street vendors.

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Be serious

Anti-trust laws should be reviewed for all corporations, including Amazon, Facebook, etc. But to specifically target these companies is cheap politics. If she is serious about this then be serious, stop playing to the crowd. A poor indicator of the type of president she would be.

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stan chaz

It’s not “big government” itself that’s the problem. It’s the billionaires and monopolistic corporations and their lobbyists who buy and rig our political and economic system against us while squashing competition.
Elizabeth Warren is a patriotic American and a self-described capitalist, because she believes in protecting free markets from these behemoths who both claim that they’re too big too fail and too big to be told what to do. They should be broken up just like we broke up the huge trusts of a prior era, and for the same reasons. They are toxic both to free markets and democracy.

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Caucasian Rascal

Elizabeth Warren is a lying jackass. And the sooner you realize that, the better off you will be. She had the tech left (and there is no tech right as a certain Google engineer learned recently) in her pocket and alienated them before her campaign has even begun. Coincidence that her Facebook ads weren’t live after she attacked them? I think not. As an aside, no socialist can ever be a Patriot. Socialism is anathema to the American Experience despite what the bolsheviks in your college taught you.

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another boring candidate

oh god, democrats have thirty of the biggest losers running for president. In order for this woman to excite people in a room she would have to set up a free crab legs buffet. is this the best they got?

Hey Biden may enter! Were all on the edge of our seats!!

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MRLIC

Stop corporations, you have to stop lobbyists for them. Whom is she beholden to. How about OPEN BORDERS also, just ask AOC who wants ICE abolished.

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MRHYPOCRITE

Corporations like the Trump Organization? 164 lobbyists are in his administration.

https://www.opensecrets.org/trump/lobbyists

You’d never vote for him right? You want to stop the lobbyists?

We have border walls and security already. ICE is younger than Shrek. Trump promised Mexico would pay for it, then shut down the government for the longest time in history to beg the democrats for money. He still hasn’t built anything…

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MRLIC

MRHYPOCRITE : You are one as you don’t seem to remember the Democrats shut down the Government over DACA. Obama hired 100 Lobbyists when he said he would keep them out of his administration. Trump does not have his wall thanks to Democrats blocking it all he time. I know Trump tried to cut aid to Mexico which I believe was his way of having Mexico start to build the wall. He still would need more money however. ICE is aneeded agency or we would have more illegals coming here. You want them here YOU PAY FOR THEM, not me or any American Citizen who does not want to pay for them. No one asked me or anyone if we wanted to pay for them ? Correct. If you remember I said Trump is not a nice guy he is a businessman. He is for America not Democratic Socialist/Communists who are Anti American. AOC, Ilhan Omar, Rashida Tlaib, Bernie Sanders etc..all Socialist Communist Democrats . Not for me I’ll stick with a American in Trump.

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MRHYPOCRITE

“WHATABOUT OBAMA” is the usual reply when Trumpeters have no response.

How did you “stop the lobbyists” by voting for an administration with 164 lobbyists in it? 😂 How clueless can you be?

Congress shut down the government during Obama’s presidency, over Obamacare, which was already law.

Trump shutdown the government for the longest time in history, and got nothing for it.

He can’t repeal and replace Obamacare, he can’t drain the swamp (Manafort’s in jail at least), and he can’t build the wall. Other than major corporate tax cuts, has he done ANYthing?!

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Caucasian Rascal

Love him or hate him, Trump is Trump. But Obama is the biggest media-created fraud in the history of the American Presidency. He did absolutely NOTHING for POC and he alienated rural Whites, “They cling to their guns and their religion…” What exactly should we cling to bro? A government that hates us (“deplorables”) and a religion that you prefer (Islam, Cultural Marxism)?

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WHATABOUT OBAMA

I can’t really refute the claims about Trump. Can we jiust deflect with whataboutisms about the president from years ago?

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MRLIC

Yes TRUMP HAS. He has weakened China’s economy at a time it was booming with the trade war. China had unfair protections built into their economy before the trade war. trump has built up our Military after 8 years of Obama cuttiing it. Trump stooped the taking in of refugees from Syria and other countries. Hillary wanted to bring in 100,00 Syrian refugees. More anti-Americans is what we don’t need in the USA. Democrats stopped Trump building the wall. He wanted to take foreign aid from Mexico and was stopped in court by Dems. Mexico now has a worse President than before. It is a corrupt nation about to get worse. I have news for you Eliz. Warren lovers and her break up the Banks and Tech companies. She gets money as well from them for her Pres. run also. Mr. Hypocrite she is a Hypocrite herself. Go ahead vote Dems in and their anti-semitic (I am not Jewish) and anti-American values (Open Borders). Idiots like AOC and Ilan Omar and R. Tlaib should never be in office as they are anti-American Socialist/Communists. There is disssent in the Dem. party because of them. People that wear MAGA hats get beat up, Free Speech not allowed in Universities.These are not Democratic values, more like the fascist Neo-Nazis they hate so much. Obama was a terrible apologetic to other countries for things we so called did to other countries. How about 1941 Dec. 7, Pearl Harbor sneak attack by Japan, 9-11, it seems we always get sneaked upon. Wake up this is the Best Country on Earth, don’t ruin it.

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MRLOL

She’s a capitalist, which is why she wants to promote competitive markets.

Do you have ANY idea what socialism is?

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MRLIC

MRLOL if you believe E, Warren is a Capitalist I think you need your head examined. She is a progressive Socialist . Se may have a small touch of Capitalism left in her however all the Dumb-o-crats are afraid of the radical left in their party.Older Dems are afraid the young radical left losers won’t vote for them. I used to be a emocrat until the leftward turn with Open Borders and Socialism/Communism. Dems like to ban everything,Books,Statues,soda,plastic bags,straws, styrofoam etc…While other polluting countries pollute away. as a matter of fact other states are stopping their recycling programs because they are too expensive. This is the reason NY wants to ban everything because it is so expensive. Plastic Bags can be recycled. China used to take Foreign waste but stopped in late 2017. Trash had started to pile up around the country , yes that includes recycling waste too. Link below.
Recycling Chaos In U.S. As China Bans ‘Foreign Waste’ : NPR
http://www.npr.org/2017/12/09/568797388

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JH resident

Her idea to break up the largest tech companies isn’t a bad idea and it would be good for competition and stops these companies from taking advantage of consumers.

However, she needs to deliver her message in a way that isn’t “anti-business”.

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Great idea

Great to see her supporting Trump’s proposals. Why doesn’t she work with him now to get this passed? She IS a sitting US Senator and if she thinks she can lead the country effectively I’m sure she can corral a handful of Democratic senators to support the large majority of the Trump Republicans in Congress who absolutely support breaking up tech antitrusts like Google and Amazon.

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Skip Seglipse

LOL nobody in government has been against antitrusts since before Clinton was president.

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Caucasian Rascal

I love, love, love, LOVE watching the left eat itself into oblivion.

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wat

Elite bilionaires like Bezos don’t exactly represent the left…do you know who the president is?

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Caucasian Rascal

Elite billionaires like Bezos, Soros, Steyer, Bloomberg, Schultz, Gates, Buffet, et al. routinely espouse and fund radical left-wing causes. Since you clearly have no idea what you are talking about, you are the very definition of what Lenin meant when he described his left-wing followers as “useful idiots.” Step out of your Marxist bubble once is a while and open your eyes.

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lol

That’s a great point–there are way more successful left-wing capitalists that right-wing.

Still, they didn’t elect a billionaire game show host for president. Celebrity/elite worship by the right was pretty much confirmed at that point.

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Pass that smoking pipe 💨 💨 💨

Break them all up!
Lock the all up!
Free money for everyone!
Pocahontas!!!!!!

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