Democratic presidential hopeful Elizabeth Warren said breaking up giant tech companies would “keep the marketplace competitive,” during an appearance at one of the biggest technology events in the U.S.
The Massachusetts senator spoke Saturday at the annual South by Southwest cultural festival in Austin, Texas, a day after proposing to take steps to break up companies like Facebook Inc. and Alphabet Co.’s Google if she’s elected.
On Friday she called for legislation that would designate large technology companies as “platform utilities,” and for the appointment of regulators who’d unwind technology mergers that undermine competition and harm innovation and small businesses.
Referring to previous eras of US monopoly bust-ups, Warren said that what’s new is old: when someone gets excessive market dominance, they start to destroy the market competition.
“The idea behind this is for the people in this room,” for tech entrepreneurs who want to try out “that new idea,” Warren told a packed and enthusiastic crowd. “We want to keep that marketplace competitive and not let a giant who has an incredible competitive advantage snuff that out.”
Warren said venture capital “in this area” has dropped by about 20 percent because of a perceived uneven playing field. She didn’t provide more detail or say where she obtained her figures.