Sen. Elizabeth Warren released an aggressive plan on Friday to break up tech giants like Amazon, Google and Facebook, targeting the power of Silicon Valley with her populist message as sprawling Internet giants face mounting political backlash ahead of the 2020 presidential election.
The far-reaching proposal would impose new rules on certain kinds of tech companies with $25 billion or more in annual revenue, forcing Amazon and Google to spin off parts of their companies and relinquish their overwhelming control over online commerce. The plan also aims to unwind some of the highest profile mergers in the industry, like the combinations of Amazon and Whole Foods, and Google and DoubleClick, as well as Facebook’s acquisition of Instagram and WhatsApp.
The proposal from the Democratic presidential candidate is sure to rankle Silicon Valley executives and investors as well as opponents of government regulations, while drawing applause from progressive activists, consumer advocates and a range of lawmakers who have railed against what they see as unsustainable monopolies in the industry.
Warren’s presidential campaign shared with CNN details of the plan, which outlines specific measures to break up large tech companies. It marks the Massachusetts Democrat’s third major policy unveiling so far this year and is yet another sign that the progressive firebrand intends to set herself apart in a growing Democratic field by laying out an ambitious agenda centered around her campaign’s overarching theme of dismantling wealthy and powerful interests.
“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 Medium post about the proposal. “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.”
According to a source familiar with her plans, Warren is expected to promote the new proposal Friday evening in Long Island City, where Amazon recently backed out of its plan to build a massive campus after facing intense political backlash. The senator is also headed to the South by Southwest Conference in Austin, Texas, on Saturday.