In her pitch to rein in the influence of tech giants, the MA senator envisions legislation targeting companies with annual worldwide revenue of $25 billion or more, limiting their ability to expand and forcing parts of Google and Amazon's current business structure to operate as separate entities.
On Friday, the USA senator from MA unveiled one of the most ambitious proposals to crack down on tech industry power as part of her 2020 presidential bid.
In a Friday blog post, Sen.
Her plan primarily targets only those companies with annual revenue over $90 billion, and it would embolden federal and state regulators to issue steep fines and other penalties that harm competition or consumers.
During its most recent financial quarter, Apple reported that its services business - including the App Store, music streaming, AppleCare and more - took in $8.4 billion, making it larger than the company's Mac and iPad segments.
Warren, a Massachusetts Democrat, called out Facebook, Amazon, and Google in particular, but her plan covers any large tech company engaging in what she considers to be anti-competitive behavior.
An empty chair reserved for Google last September during Capitol Hill testimony. Jose Luis Magana AP
With fewer competitors entering the market, the big tech companies do not have to compete as aggressively in key areas like protecting our privacy.
She added: "We must help America's content creators - from local newspapers and national magazines to comedians and musicians - keep more of the value their content generates, rather than seeing it scooped up by companies like Google and Facebook". Called "Platform Utilities", these firms would not be allowed to own an online marketplace and sell their own products on it. Amazon Marketplace and its AmazonBasic brand is an example. "And in the process, they have hurt small businesses and stifled innovation", Warren wrote.
"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", Ms Warren said. The government's antitrust case against Microsoft helpedclear a path for Internet companies like Google and Facebook to emerge. Google has clashed with smaller companies, like Yelp, over search placements.
But NetChoice, an e-commerce trade group whose members include Facebook, warned that Warren's plan would lead to higher prices for Americans.
The liberal activist group Demand Progress has previously called for the USA government to break up Facebook by forcing it to sell Instagram, WhatsApp and Messenger.
Warren's proposal has two main elements.