Following Sen. Elizabeth Warren‘s (D-Mass.) unveiling of her proposal to break up big tech companies, a pro-business trade group is firing back to say the move would not only hurt the middle class but “all Americans.”
We’ve got to call it out. And we’ve got to do something about it. So today, I’m proposing a new plan to #BreakUpBigTech companies, restore competition, and make sure these corporations don’t get so powerful that they undermine our democracy.
— Elizabeth Warren (@ewarren) March 8, 2019
Warren’s plan involves requiring tech companies that offer an online marketplace or exchange, such as Amazon or Google, to refrain from competing on their own platform. In doing so, this would, for instance, bar Amazon from selling on its Amazon Marketplace platform.
According to her, this would allow small businesses to prosper:
Small businesses would have a fair shot to sell their products on Amazon without the fear of Amazon pushing them out of business. Google couldn’t smother competitors by demoting their products on Google Search. Facebook would face real pressure from Instagram and WhatsApp to improve the user experience and protect our privacy. Tech entrepreneurs would have a fighting chance to compete against the tech giants.
E-commerce group NetChoice, whose members include Google and Facebook, disputed Warren’s claims that her plan would help the middle class.
“Never before have consumers and workers had more access to goods, services, and opportunities online,” Carl Szabo, vice president and general counsel for NetChoice, pushed back. “Breaking up tech companies would hurt — not help — America’s middle class.
“Sen. Warren’s proposal would increase prices for consumers, make search and maps less useful, and raise costs to small businesses that advertise online. This proposal is bad for all Americans,” he added.
Tom Donohue, the president of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, appeared to agree, saying that breaking up these companies would “take us back to the Stone Age” and calling the plan “not a vision for the future, but an archaic idea that should be dumped in your computer trash can.”
Warren launched her 2020 bid to take on President Donald Trump earlier this year. Things got off to a rough start when one of her own volunteers notably walked out in the middle of her announcement speech, as IJR Red noted.