Democrat primary contender Andrew Yang said he wouldn’t break up big tech companies during CNN’s debate today, challenging the efficacy of the proposals, which have been strongly advocated by rival candidate Elizabeth Warren.
“As usual Senator Warren is 100% wrong in diagnosing the problem, there absolutely [are] excesses in technology and in some cases having them divest parts of their business is the right move,” conceded Yang.
“But we also have to be realistic that competition doesn’t solve all the problems.”
“It’s not like any of us want to use the fourth-best navigation app… There’s a reason why nobody is using Bing today. Sorry Microsoft, it’s true!”
“It’s not like breaking up these tech companies will revive mainstream businesses around the country.”
“And as the parent of two young children, I’m particularly concerned about screen use and its effect on our children. Studies clearly show that we’re seeing record levels of anxiety and depression coincident with smartphone adoption and social media use.”
“Breaking up the tech companies does nothing to make our kids healthier. What we have to do is we have to hone in on the specific problems we’re trying to solve and use 21st-century solutions for 21st-century problems. Using a 20th-century antitrust framework will not work. We need new solutions and a new toolkit.”
Elizabeth Warren responded to Yang’s remarks, stating “I’m not willing to give up and let a handful of monopolists dominate our economy and our democracy. It’s time to fight back.”
She went on to slam Amazon for its domination of America’s retail market, and the way it crowds out competition from small businesses.
“Think about it this way — when you talk about it this way when you talk about how it works, and competition. About eight percent [to] nine percent of retail sales in bricks and sticks stores happen at Walmart. About 49 percent of all sales online happen in one place — that’s Amazon. It collects information from every little business. And then Amazon does something else — it runs the platform, gets all the information, and then goes into competition with those little businesses.”
“You get to be the umpire in the baseball or you get to be a team, but you don’t get to do both at the same time. We need to enforce our antitrust laws, break up these giant companies that are dominating big tech, big pharma, big oil — all of them.”
Whereas Tulsi Gabbard has been consistent on the question of censorship, criticizing big tech companies for “throwing free speech out the window,” Warren has flip-flopped on the issue. She condemned Facebook for its power to “shut down debate” after it removed an ad for her campaign in March this year, but a few months later called for tech companies to censor criticism of Kamala Harris.
Allum Bokhari is the senior technology correspondent at Breitbart News.
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