AUSTIN, Texas—”So yesterday you made a pretty big announcement about tech. Then like the gangster you are, you flew down to a tech conference… “
Time Editor-at-Large Anand Giridharadas led with that at his South by Southwest conversation with Massachusetts Senator and 2020 Democratic presidential hopeful Elizabeth Warren. The politician didn’t miss a beat. Barely 24 hours after she made headlines by publicly proposing that the US should break up companies like Amazon, Google, and Facebook as part of a plan to regulate tech platforms as utilities, Warren took the opportunity to further emphasize her idea.
“Today, we have companies like Amazon: they have a platform. I buy a coffee maker and use it all the time, but Amazon also sucks out an incredible amount of info about every buyer and every seller. Then, Amazon makes the decision to have a competing coffee machine and drive out the business in that space,” she explained. “They have this incredible advantage from the information they get from their platform and the fact they can also manipulate the platform, putting themselves on page 1 and put the competitor on page 16 where no one ever goes… My view is break those things apart, and we’ll have a more robust market in America.”