Breaking up big tech was a big topic of discussion at the most recent Democratic debate — here’s where all the candidates stand

Business Insider Politics 1 month ago

On Tuesday night, CNN hosted the fourth Democratic debate for presidential candidates. Twelve candidates made the debate, and moderators asked them for their thoughts on big tech company monopolies.

This was the first time the issue of tech monopolies was meaningfully addressed in debates this year. Sen. Elizabeth Warren has been running on a platform of breaking up Facebook, Amazon, and Google, which she compares to big oil, and she recently pledged to stop taking donations from tech executives

Bernie Sanders has his own plan that would remove concentrated power from tech companies, but he largely agrees with Warren. Most of the other candidates agree that these companies held too much power and that it was a problem, but they stopped short of proposing specific plans or calling out individual companies and executives. So far, only Sanders and Warren have specific plans detailing how they will handle big tech — the most common position among candidates is support for regulation and antitrust enforcement, but not necessarily using executive power to break up tech companies.

Here's where each candidate stands on breaking up big tech.

Elizabeth Warren has made breaking up big tech companies like Facebook, Google, and Amazon a cornerstone of her campaign, and she has the most specific plan out of all the candidates.

Bernie Sanders "absolutely" supports breaking up big tech companies.

Andrew Yang believes that tech monopolies are a problem, but he said of Warren's plan that "using a 20th century antitrust framework will not work.”

Sen. Kamala Harris says the decision to break up big tech should be in the hands of the attorney general.

Former Rep. Beto O'Rourke does not support breaking up tech companies.

Billionaire candidate Tom Steyer agreed that tech companies must be broken up or regulated, but he also expressed hesitancy about what that could do to the economy.

Sen. Cory Booker talked about the danger of corporate consolidation, but does not support breaking up tech companies.

South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg has declined to call out specific companies, although he said the concentration of power should "set off alarms."

Former Vice President Joe Biden has said that he's open to breaking up big tech.

Sen. Amy Klobuchar said that she wouldn't break up companies, but she would enforce antitrust legislation.

Julian Castro is for cracking down on tech companies.

Rep. Tulsi Gabbard has praised Warren's plan, and said that she would introduce similar legislation.

Colorado Sen. Michael Bennet agrees with other candidates, and has said that the antitrust division of the Justice Department should look into tech companies.

Montana Gov. Steve Bullock wants to make sure that large tech companies pay taxes without loopholes.

Former Rep. John Delaney supports increased regulation and updating antitrust laws, but not breaking up big tech.

Rep. Tim Ryan says he's not opposed to breaking up large tech companies.

Marianne Williamson said "I have no problem with the idea of breaking some of these companies up."


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