Sen. Elizabeth Warren called for the breakup of big tech companies on Tuesday night, as the candidates debated the size and influence of the technology sector in society.
“I’m not willing to give up and let a handful of monopolists dominate our economy and our democracy,” Warren said, citing Amazon as a company that controls too much of the marketplace. “You get to be the umpire in the baseball game or you get to have a team. You don’t get to be both at the same time.”
Andrew Yang, a former tech executive, said it was wrong to use a “20th century antitrust framework” to take on tech companies.
“The best way we can fight back against big tech companies is saying our data is our property,” Yang said.
Former Rep. Beto O’Rourke criticized Warren for singling out particular companies by name, saying the president should set rules for the road but stay out of directing antitrust prosecutions.
Sen. Kamala Harris pressed Warren to join her in calling on Twitter to suspend President Trump’s account. Harris argued that Trump has violated Twitter’s terms of service, and stated that the company’s rules should be evenly applied.
Warren demurred, and noted that she has pledged not to accept more than $200 from tech executives or Wall Street financiers.
“You can’t go behind closed doors and take the money of these executives and then turn around and expect these are the people who are actually finally going to enforce the laws,” Warren said.