In her pitch to rein in the influence of tech giants, the MA senator envisions legislation targeting companies with annual worldwide revenue of $25 billion or more, limiting their ability to expand and forcing parts of Google and Amazon's current business structure to operate as separate entities. In Warren's post on Friday, Apple was not mentioned. 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.
The Massachusetts Democrat, who has largely been critical of large financial companies, said that the plan would unravel large tech giants' acquisitions of rival tech companies.
In a lengthy description of the tech-busting policy Friday, Warren criticized the system for allowing companies to complete mergers that snap up competitors, and by using their own marketplaces to drown out other companies. A Booker spokesman did not immediately return a request for comment on Booker's view of Warren's new proposal.
Senator Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota used her presidential campaign launch speech to vow action on digital issues like privacy, saying "big tech companies" misuse personal data. "And in the process, they have hurt small businesses and stifled innovation", Warren wrote. The first part of the plan is legislation that would designate the companies as "platform utilities" and break them apart "from any participant on that platform".
The antitrust case against Microsoft "helped clear a path for Internet companies like Google and Facebook to emerge", Warren wrote.
"We must ensure that today's tech giants do not crowd out potential competitors, smother the next generation of great tech companies, and wield so much power that they can undermine our democracy", Ms Warren said. "Google allegedly snuffed out a competing small search engine by demoting its content on its search algorithm, and it has favored its own restaurant ratings over those of Yelp".
Faiz Shakir, an executive for the ACLU, said in January, "Elizabeth Warren is trying to position herself as the ideas candidate of the field, and thus far, in the early going, she's winning that".
But Warren's post, and speech that she delivered in Queens (sorry, Bezos), turn that idea into an actual mainstream plan of attack. Facebook would face real pressure from Instagram and WhatsApp to improve the user experience and protect our privacy.