Warren Pledges to Diminish the Power Held by Tech Giants for Better Democracy

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Bhaswati Sarkar
Bhaswati Sarkar
She is a feminist pursuing a M.A. degree. She likes to lose herself in music and daydreams quite often. Travelling excites her and photography is her passion- nature is her favorite subject. Writing is cathartic for her. A happy-go-lucky kind of person, she tries to remain calm and serene through daily life.

Elizabeth Warren, the American politician, and academic who has been serving as the senior United States Senator since 2013, pledged on Friday in Queens to break up the tech giants Amazon, Facebook and Google and bring into Silicon Valley new statutes in case she is elected President in 2020.

To restore the balance of power in our democracy, to promote competition, and to ensure that the next generation of technology innovation is as vibrant as the last, it’s time to break up our biggest tech companies. – Democratic Senator declared

Warren emphasized the plight of new startups in their inability to thrive in the American market when she stated, “Venture capitalists are now hesitant to fund new startups to compete with these big tech companies because it’s so easy for the big companies to either snap up growing competitors or drive them out of business. The number of tech startups has slumped, there are fewer high-growth young firms typical of the tech industry, and first financing rounds for tech startups have declined 22% since 2012.”

The Medium has published a post by Warren dated March 8, where she states that

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.

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Warren proposes to carry out her pledge by:

1. Appointing “regulators committed to reversing illegal and anti-competitive tech mergers”- this pertains to tech companies that earn annual revenue of over $25 billion, so as to enable competitors or consumers to sue the tech giants through legislation if necessary, and

2. Promoting regulations that would stamp “platform utilities” upon services offered by these tech platforms to prohibit platforms from offering a marketplace for commerce and participating in that marketplace. Amazon Marketplace and Basics, Google’s ad exchange, and Google Search would be termed as platform utilities.

Warren seeks to hinder the overbearing power of large-scale tech companies that “shape the rules in their favor to utilize their economic power “to snuff out or buy up every potential competitor.”

According to Warren, these big-shot companies make use of the strategies of either utilizing the merger to limit competition or using their own estate to limit competition by also taking part in that marketplace. Amazon has purchased Whole Foods, Facebook has bought WhatsApp and Instagram, and Google now owns Waze, Nest, and DoubleClick, all of which Warren has criticized as nefarious tech-merging measures as they have ignored to “play by the rules”. Moreover, companies’ transferring or sharing data from users with third parties would also be disallowed.

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. – Warren

With her pledge to carry put this expansive, ambitious plan, Warren becomes one of the most potent Democratic candidates by virtue of her calling for sizable changes in the American technology sector to promote more competition.

There was no immediate response to requests for comments from the three targeted tech companies.

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