FANG Stocks Slump As Warren Calls For Breaking Up ‘Big Tech’

Friday, March 8, 2019
By Paul Martin

by Tyler Durden
Fri, 03/08/2019

Elizabeth Warren has finally found some common ground with President Trump.

In her latest soaring policy pronouncement, Elizabeth Warren on Friday is preparing to announce a new plan calling for the breakup of the biggest tech firms – with a focus on Alphabet, Facebook and Amazon – to combat their abusive practices and anti-competitive behavior. Her proposal comes as the Trump Administration takes its first tentative steps toward breaking up big tech with a new FTC task force. President Trump has repeatedly accused Amazon of being a monopoly and accused it of killing jobs and stifling competition.

According to the New York Times, Warren plans to officially announce the policy during a stump speech in Long Island City, the Queens neighborhood where Amazon had planned to open one of its HQ2s before pressure from local progressive politicians prompted the company to pull out.

The proposal — which comes on the same day Ms. Warren will hold a rally in Long Island City, the Queens neighborhood that was to be home to a major new Amazon campus — calls for the appointment of regulators who would “unwind tech mergers that illegally undermine competition,” as well as legislation that would prohibit platforms from both offering a marketplace for commerce and participating in that marketplace.

Warren’s plan would create a two-tiered regulatory system that would require the biggest tech firms to ensure their products are separated from the marketplace in which they are sold, a provision that appears to be aimed chiefly at Amazon, which took aim at the few partners it hasn’t already put out of business by ceasing purchases from some of its wholesale vendors.

Ms. Warren’s plan creates two tiers of companies that would fall under the new regulations: those that have an annual global revenue of $25 billion or more, and those with annual revenue of $90 million to $25 billion. The upper tier would be required to “structurally separate” their products from their marketplace. Smaller companies would be subject to regulations but would not be forced to separate themselves from the online marketplace.

Under the plan, several big tech mergers would be forcibly unwound.

Ms. Warren’s plan would also force the rollback of some acquisitions by technological giants, the campaign said, including Facebook’s deals for WhatsApp and Instagram, Amazon’s addition of Whole Foods, and Google’s purchase of Waze. Companies would be barred from transferring or sharing users’ data with third parties. Dual entities, such as Amazon Marketplace and AmazonBasics, would be split apart.

“I want a government that makes sure everybody — even the biggest and most powerful companies in America — plays by the rules,” Ms. Warren said in a statement. “To do that, we need to stop this generation of big tech companies from throwing around their political power to shape the rules in their favor and throwing around their economic power to snuff out or buy up every potential competitor.”

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