Bernie Sanders says government should examine Apple, Google, Facebook breakup
The potential breaking up of major technology companies like Apple should be examined, presidential candidate Senator Bernie Sanders has suggested, seemingly joining calls to curtail the influence of firms that are accused of being monopolistic in nature.
The large size of companies like Apple, Google, and Amazon has led to calls from presidential candidate and Senator Elizabeth Warren to propose the splitting up of the tech giants into smaller services. The statement emboldened critics of the companies to make similar suggestions, with the conversation also being picked up by other lawmakers.
On Tuesday, Sanders advised the government "should definitely take a look at" breaking apart Apple and other firms, reports Politico, but he didn't outright demand for the companies to be disassembled into smaller entities.
"I worry very much about monopolistic tendencies in many sectors of our economy, including high tech," Sanders said. "I think we have to take a really hard look at the degree to which monopolization in all aspects of our economy are a threat to the American people."
When pushed for a more definitive stance on the matter, Sanders did not declare a breakup should occur, but replied, "It's something we should definitely take a look at, yes." While Tuesday's comments were about all major tech companies, Sanders did previously admit to supporting the calls for Facebook to be broken up in May.
In March, Warren advocated for the break up of major tech companies, with an annual global revenue of $25 billion of more "that offer to the public an online marketplace, an exchange, or a platform for connecting third parties," with such businesses prevented from "owning both the platform utility and any participants on that platform." The firms would also have to "meet a standard of fair, reasonable, and nondiscriminatory dealing with users," and would be limited in sharing data with third parties.
Warren's original post targeted Amazon, Facebook and Google by name, but later confirmed Apple would be subject to the same rules. In the iPhone maker's case, Apple would have to separate from the App Store, suggesting "Either they run the platform or they play in the store. They don't get to do both at the same time."