back to article Liz Warren: I'll smash up Amazon, Google, and Facebook – if you elect me to the White House

US presidential contender Elizabeth Warren has vowed that if elected she would break up Amazon, Google, and Facebook, accusing the internet giants of abusing their market power. "Today’s big tech companies have too much power," Senator Warren (D-MA) wrote in an essay published on Friday. "Too much power over our economy, our …

  1. Adrian 4 Silver badge

    Good plan

    Well, I'd vote for her. If I had a vote.

    But I don't get that there's no easy alternative to Facebook. It's just doing what countless others have failed at before, from AOL to Yahoo, or G+. Admittedly I don't use it so perhaps I'm missing something, but it's just a communications platform isn't it ? Like email, newsgroups or forums. Except it fleeces its users while pretending to help them.

    It does need killing for the abuse it heaps on its unwitting - or uncaring - users. But it's not a monopoly.

    I don't see anything facebook does that can't be done elsewhere if you have a mind to. And you can do it piece by piece - it is supported by a network effect but eBay's is much stronger. Having all your comms in one place may be a convenience for some, but I find it a positive disadvantage and one of the many things that puts me off facebook is their wish to roll all my contacts in together.

    1. Someone Else Silver badge

      @Adrian 4 -- Re: Good plan

      One of the facets of a monopoly is erecting barriers to entry of a market. Facebook has done that repeatedly (you did read the article, didn't you?), by leveraging their dominant position in one market (so-called "social" communications --- much of which is not all that social) to erect barriers in others (ref. SnapChat). That is textbook monopoly.

      Here's a little experiment for you: Go ahead and create a competitor to one of Facebook's niche, perhaps a little Instagram, and then observe first-hand what a monopoly can do.

      I just had a little deja-vu. Don't know where it came from...oh, yes. I remember came from posting many posts like this one back in the early-to-middle nineties when some uneducated sod would try to tell all and sundry that Micros~1 wasn't a monopoly, either.

      1. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

        Re: @Adrian 4 -- Good plan

        then observe first-hand what a monopoly can do

        The words "borg you" spring to mind. Followed by ensuring that the aims and goals that you set for your startup can never be achieved leading to the loss of all the staff that were originally in the startup.

    2. Random Handle

      Re: Good plan

      >It's just doing what countless others have failed at before, from AOL to Yahoo, or G+.

      Succeeding at what countless others have failed at before...

      >Admittedly I don't use it so perhaps I'm missing something, but it's just a communications platform isn't it?

      Nope, for many 100s millions their ecosystem is already 'The Internet' - in meatspace it's rather more frightening in its recent influence and potential influence....

      ....and if the crypto dev hiring (and disappearing under NDA) has passed you by, you should definitely have a genuine tremble at the inevitable ICO. Facebook may well become the world's largest economy.

      1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

        Re: Good plan

        "Succeeding at what countless others have failed at before..."

        Until they failed, they were succeeding too. It's not like AOL or Yahoo were some tiny unremarkable start-ups that ran a flash in the pan operation. It's just that something newer came along and "cool kids" moved on to the new platform(s). That can still happen to Facebook.

        1. jliv

          Re: Good plan

          Something new has come along. So long ago that it’s no longer new. The young and hip moved on from FB to SC ions ago. FB is now dominated by the 40+ crowd, of which I am a member, emphasis on the +. FB isn’t a monopoly, but it is a menace and could do with a healthy dose of regulation.

          The powers of the POTUS are, thank heavens, quite limited, but I believe that someone like EW could, nevertheless get a lot done in this regard.

          1. HieronymusBloggs

            Re: Good plan

            "The young and hip moved on from FB to SC ions ago."

            Do you have a particle of evidence for that?

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Every think tank has a name that means the opposite of what it really wants. American Heritage? Cato Institute? American heritage doesn't mean individualistic pioneers but what suits big corporations. The Cato Institute took funds from tobacco companies, whereas Cato was a Stoic. And I bet the Competitive Enterprise Institute wants to demolish anti-trust regulations. Ah - funded by energy, tech, automotive, alcohol and tobacco.

    Warren is perhaps right: if the current legislation was applied, as it was to AT&T, there would be a number of breakups. But currently the "tech sector" is the main fugleman for American technological prowess as well as doing the job of the Stasi (as yet without the rubber truncheons...) The thing is, if the US doesn't do something, the rest of the world may do it instead.

    1. BebopWeBop Silver badge

      Re: CEI

      That might mean war.... after all the US (along with a number of other countries) have form who it comes to protecting (some) homegrown industries.....

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: CEI

        The war has already started. Currently it's a trade war and an economic war, but that is how the war between the US and Japan started in WW2. The US attacks on Huawei have led to the Chinese government telling its businesses they will not allow the US government to politicise trade, which means that they regard the US as already doing so.

        There's no doubt that China is very determinedly pushing its commercial and foreign policy interests, but by comparison to the US they are still complete beginners. The sheer volume of US noise, from Voice of America to these "think tanks" and beyond, the threats of sanctions, blocking access to banking, refusing to repatriate gold, and the vast military that backs it up, not to mention the bribery of foreign politicians and funding of US-friendly groups, exceeds anything any other country does, perhaps by an order of magnitude.

        Given the number of American politicians with names of Prussian origin, the resemblance to the rise of Prussia is getting worryingly close.

        1. Rich 11 Silver badge

          Re: CEI

          Thankfully Herr Drumpf is no Bismarck.

  3. Johnny Canuck

    I'd argue she is best known for claiming she is native american indian.

    1. BebopWeBop Silver badge

      Only for someone who has got no bloody idea about US politics.

      1. Cederic Silver badge

        That'd be most Americans then.

    2. bombastic bob Silver badge

      "she is best known for claiming she is native american indian"

      ack - she's less than 1/100th of what I am... and SHE claimed to be 'American Indian' for affirmative action reasons, among others, to gain PREFERENTIAL TREATMENT [which I would NEVER do, I have WAY too much pride to SINK THAT LOW - actual merit should be enough, and if NOT, I do not WANT it].

      Being an 'attention whore' causes you to behave in SIMILAR WAYS to what 'Pocahontas' Warren does, in my opinion.

      I wouldn't vote for her, not just for THESE reasons, but because of her politics in general.

      And gummint takeovers of "the big 3" isn't the answer. Just apply existing anti-trust legislation in a FAIR manner, and treat those companies just like you'd treat any other. Again, NO PREFERENTIAL TREATMENT.

      (and the 'preferential treatment' thing _IS_ the problem!!!)

      1. disgruntled yank Silver badge


        You are aware the president's father represented himself as being of Swedish descent--German heritage wasn't a ticket to popularity in New York seventy-odd years ago--and the president himself carried the Swedish story into an early book. It is easier for me to see the benefit that Fred Trump might have gained by representing himself as Swedish than the benefit Senator Warren might have gained by representing herself as a Native American.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      The left is strong on the British Reg, it explains the State of the UK rather well, poor blighters.

      As for Native Clinton 2.0, go ahead, all that nonsense just gives Trump an automatic Win.

      The MSM lies about current trends and opinions to try and control, fortunately for us more and more people are waking up.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    When will people realise that promises made by politicians don't mean shit. Nice thoughts though.

    1. A.P. Veening Silver badge

      Less than shit, shit still has value as fertilizer.

    2. notamole

      Warren at least has a strong record of going up against powerful corporations. She forced Obama to agree to set up the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. He was about ready to set up a Goldman Financial Protection Bureau.

    3. DCFusor

      Pres doesn't have the power

      At most the bully pulpit - and that only if the media lets him have it.

      A chance remark by Trump about affecting a certain telecom merger and it's all against the law all of a sudden for the president to even suggest such kinds of things - it's not his domain if the press is against him, as it quite obviously is now.

      The very corps involved here ARE the press for a lot of people...and the grocery store.

      We'll see - and we do see - who actually wields the power here. Worldwide in case you haven't noticed who pays how much taxes and where...

      How'd that MS breakup go? Seems to me they won in the end and are still MS, not broken up - broken yes, but they did that to themselves.

      EW is never going to get elected anyway, as per the identity "victim points" fraud she's committed.

      And it's not a guess like it is with the current baloney making headlines.

      Hate to appear cynical, but an honest and even-handed assessment of current events sure looks like it.

      1. bombastic bob Silver badge

        Re: Pres doesn't have the power

        correct - CONGRESS makes the laws. Good luck getting THAT pile of corruption to do anything REASONABLE that does not include FAVORITISM and LOOPHOLES.

        Existing FTC law could handle the case of "Facebook is now more likely to copy and squash a competitor than take it over." [as quoted from the article]. Engaging in PREDATORY and ANTI-COMPETITIVE behavior generally gets you some kind of legal action from the Federal Government, under EXISTING law.

        So why not have the DOJ _APPLY_ _EXISTING_ _LAW_ then? Congress has oversight responsibilities, and can recommend things _LIKE_ DOJ investigations. Instead of focusing on an ANAL RETENTIVE SIEVING OF PRESIDENT TRUMP'S LIFE, we should INSTEAD focus on THIS, right?

        And didn't the Republicans begin doing JUST THAT? how come the DEMO[c,n]RATS have NOT carried the torch EVEN FURTHER? Hmmm????

        1. Poncey McPonceface

          Re: Pres doesn't have the power

          Dear Bob,

          I just reported your comment as abuse to El Reg because the random CAPS have made my eyes bleed. You'll be hearing from my lawyers once El Reg is done with you. We're talking a figure compo Bob, I hope you got deep pockets…

          Meanwhile, even though I'm actually not super traumatised by Trump like world+dog is I'd like to see a progressive like Warren or Sanders or *especially* Tulsi Gabbard win just so I can taunt you with it mercilessly :)

          If we ever stop hearing from you we'll be having visions of you slumped over your keyboard foaming at the mouth. Please let us know how we can contact your next of kin.

          1. larzman

            Re: Pres doesn't have the power

            sure Mcponce, just what the US needs, to slide back into 0bama's "recovery" of anemic 2% GDP growth. Take your progressive hacks with you to somewhere you will be wanted, say... Russia

            1. Rich 11 Silver badge

              Re: Pres doesn't have the power

              It's interesting that you should equate progressive values with Russia, when you currently have a regressive president openly admiring Putin and taking the malicious, murdering authoritarian's word over the reports of his own intelligence agencies.

  5. cornetman Silver badge

    If I became president, I'd split up the federal government. They've got far too much power....and money.

    Oh, and Facebook.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Split up Federal government

      Not a bad idea if you want the US to collapse. What happened to Germany when it was a lot of varying sized states? Small wars, big wars, rise of Prussia.

      By the time the new von Bismarck came round, you'd all be speaking Mandarin.

      1. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

        Re: Split up Federal government

        Not a bad idea if you want the US to collapse

        Which might not actually be a bad idea. Much like the British Empire, it's an idea that's had its day and now belongs in the past.

        Of course, that would give free reign to the Chinese but I think they'll be somewhat concerned by their own imminent commercial collapse to worry about it.

    2. bombastic bob Silver badge

      how about JUST limit fed gummint to what the CONSTITUTION says... instead of going AROUND it and ASSUMING way too much power/control, and appointing liberal supreme court justices to ALLOW it...

      10th Amendment. yeah, it's there.

      1. OopsSorryMyBad...

        Article V Convention Of States

        14 states have passed the resolution and more are on the way. Haven't heard of it? Am not surprised as the MSM is suppressing the information. Or out-and-out lying about it.

      2. Jamie Jones Silver badge

        @bombastic bob

        You almost got an upvote then, but you had to mention 'liberal supreme justices'. I seem to recall the latest supreme is kavanaugh... He's very much anti pro-choice, so much for government control.

        Whilst on the subject, how can republians claim to be pro-life when they are continually bigging-up wars, and denying basic healthcare to millions?

        In fact, the replublicans (and many democrats to a certain degree) don't really have principles - they just do what works best for them at the time...

        "free market"? how about the subsidies given to big oil and gas? And what about the subsidies Trump is giving to farmers due to his disasterous international trade wars?

        How about Trumps attacks on Amazon? Seeing as you fully disagree with Warren, you must also disagree with Trump.

        No, republicans use 'small government' to justify not providing basic services for the people.

        As soon as businesses are involved, republicans will bend over backwards to accomodate them. How about the laws restricting companies from competing with the cable companies?

        Or, the minute the Cock(*) brothers call, all sorts of regulations will be put into place to help them.

        Your current republican party is blocking HR1 - a bill to give everyone their right to vote, and to remove anonymous large donations.

        If you really think the republicans are "hands off", you're deluded.

        (*) Childish, I know, but "Koch" is pronounced as rhyming with "Loch", or how a scouser says "lock", not rhyming with "poke" or "notch"

      3. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

        appointing liberal supreme court justices

        Err.. Bob - you are aware that there are more Conservative SCJs that liberal?

        At the moment anyway.

  6. K

    I see the next scandal brewing...

    As the algorithms Google Adwords, Facebook, Bing et al. all suddenly, mysteriously and "accidently" hike the fees for pro-Warren capaign ads, but decrease them for anti-Warren!

    1. bombastic bob Silver badge

      Re: I see the next scandal brewing...

      yeah wouldn't that simply prove the point?

      1. DCFusor

        Re: I see the next scandal brewing...

        Of course, but like a tree falling in the forest with no one to hear it.

      2. Jamie Jones Silver badge

        Re: I see the next scandal brewing...

        so you do agree with Warren then?

  7. Mark 85 Silver badge

    Well, it's a start, maybe not the right or best ideas but a start. The catch will be finding the right solution and then implementing it. The implementation will be everything and given politics, it'll probably be just another waste of the paper it's printed on. The big corporates aren't about to give up power and profit and their stockholders, etc. won't let them do it even if the boards decided it's a good thing.

    Short of nuking everything and letting $<deity> sort them out or bulldozing everything and starting over, I don't see an easy solution to this. The big companies just make it easy for the users/consumers to join up and use them so I don't see a consumer based groundswell rising up and demanding change.

    Boils down this.. if the American people of today lived back in the late 1700's, we'd still be British subjects.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      "Boils down this.. if the American people of today lived back in the late 1700's, we'd still be British subjects."

      You wouldn't because the situation is the same; a few very rich people make policy and dominate the narrative. Most people in American in the 1770s had no part in politics.

      It's instructive to read modern historians on the subject of the Boston Tea Party. It is very hard to work out who the good guys were.

      1. bombastic bob Silver badge

        I have to wonder whether the successful revolution in 1776 had any positive benefits for reform of the British government, ultimately giving more power to Parliament?

        1. Rich 11 Silver badge

          I have to wonder whether the successful revolution in 1776 had any positive benefits for reform of the British government, ultimately giving more power to Parliament?

          You're correct in that his contribution to both the causes and the conduct of the war did damage George III's political influence, given that he'd been raised in his mothers' Hanoverian court and brought up to believe that power should be invested primarily in kings. However in terms of power being retrenched in Parliament it's arguable that his son's antics (especially his constant demands for money) damaged the monarchy more. The succession of a madman by a buffoon helped pave the way but it took another generation before meaningful reform took place, and a further 80 years before the monarch was sidelined and left with even less power than the newly-neutered House of Lords.

      2. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

        It is very hard to work out who the good guys were

        Easy. As with all history, the answer is usually 'very few of them'. People don't get into power politics because they are 'good people' - if they were good to start with they rapidly lose that (with obvious exceptions).

  8. Gene Cash Silver badge

    Not Trump again, please

    If the Dems put up Warren as the candidate, I will be forced to vote for Trump again, just like when they stabbed Bernie Sanders in the back last time.

    1. Someone Else Silver badge

      Re: Not Trump again, please

      It sounds like, in a different environment, you'd be all in for ethnic cleansing, as the infidels won't be pure enough in their thoughts and deeds for your tastes.

    2. diodesign (Written by Reg staff) Silver badge

      "I will be forced to vote for Trump again"

      You couldn't vote for Bernie so you voted the polar opposite of Bernie.


      1. bombastic bob Silver badge

        Re: "I will be forced to vote for Trump again"

        Voted for a polar opposite of Bernie Sanders: That's true for every Trump voter, probably. But, of course, many of us see Trump doing what WE would do if WE were president... [like me].

        But voting against a pure socialist like Bernie... Trump looks really good, regardless, when compared to THAT.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: "I will be forced to vote for Trump again"

          Compared to a felon who DID collaborate with the Russians on Uranium, and cackled about Gaddafi being sodomized with a bayonet due to her actions...Trump is an angel.

          She herself said if he wins we'll all swing. That's why the kerfuffle now - staying off that rope by any means possible.

          Just for one, Libya, though it had a dark past, was by then the shining country in MENA and giving aid to others, had real universities and hospitals and actual secular civilization. But then they wanted dinars for the low sulfur crude burned in Volkswagens...the EU is all on board to destroy a country that still hasn't recovered, or even close. All that gold went where? Isis got all those weapons how?

          Arkancide is a thing?

          Downvote away.

          Truth isn't always "convenient".

        2. Rich 11 Silver badge

          Re: "I will be forced to vote for Trump again"

          a pure socialist like Bernie

          Sanders is a social democrat. I know it's got the difficult word 'social' in it, which confuses far too many Americans, but I'd like to think that more of you would occasionally consider reaching for a dictionary rather than joyously gulping down the bullshit spewed by the people who want to manipulate you into making them richer and keeping them richer.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: "I will be forced to vote for Trump again"

        Clinton was the polar opposite of Bernie. Trump was nowhere on the political scale.

        The new battleground in US politics is are you owned by corporate interests. Clinton is, Kamala is. Bernie is not, AOC is not, Tulsi is not.

        Anyone know where Warren is on this scale?

      3. Eddy Ito

        Re: "I will be forced to vote for Trump again"

        Actually Bernie and Trump aren't that far apart on several issues. Most of the similarity lies on talk of helping Americans that were left behind in the economic recovery or are still struggling. Plus both largely eschewed big biz & super PACs relying on their own money and smaller donors.

        In Vox Bernie opposed open borders saying it was "a Koch brothers proposal" and variously that immigration reduced wages for Americans. Both oppose NAFTA and are pro tariff.

        In short, yeah, I can see the Bernie to Trump switch.

        1. Eddy Ito

          Re: "I will be forced to vote for Trump again"

          LOL. Really? Only 3 butt-hurt Bernie voters? I'm disappointed. I actually expected more folks who don't understand that the number of single issue voters are legion.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Not Trump again, please

      Let me get this clear - the guy who stabbed Bernie in the back came round to your house with his knife and marched you to the polling station where he put the knife to your kidneys and made you vote Trump?

      Just checking, because no other interpretation of your post makes sense.

      1. Nick Kew

        Re: Not Trump again, please

        Of course it makes sense. It's all about the electability of the non-Trump candidate.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Not Trump again, please

          You and I obviously have different definitions of the word "forced". And a different understanding of the role of the President.

          Clinton would probably have been a bad President but she would have been surrounded by Democrats who were on the whole less venial and corrupt than Trump's army. Federal posts would be filled. Macho posturing about walls wouldn't have held up government. Faced with a choice between restraint-free chaotic evil and limited and rational evil, I know which I'd go for.

          1. quxinot Silver badge

            Re: Not Trump again, please

            Here I was hoping that the backlash would be a reasonably moderate canidate, that would win by a landslide.


            1. bombastic bob Silver badge

              Re: Not Trump again, please

              well, as it turns out, the 'backlash' has been a radical shift to the LEFT, for some of the WORST socialist plans EVER, such as this "green new deal".

              Consider the Nixon / McGovern election in 1972. So many parallels here, and McGovern was such a socialist, he only won Massachusetts. The communist party in Russia _loved_ McGovern, or so my Jr. High English teacher said. Even though Nixon was Nixon, he still beat McGovern 49:1 (more or less, if you just count the states he won in).

              I expect similar things with Trump / 'socialist candidate' in 2020. By then, Trump will have a success record BETTER than Reagan's.

              1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

                Re: Not Trump again, please

                "I expect similar things with Trump / 'socialist candidate' in 2020. By then, Trump will have a success record BETTER than Reagan's."

                If Democrats are "socialists" in your eyes, does that mean Trump is a fascist in Dems eyes? US politics seems to thrice on polar opposites.

                (I do like the way you think "socialist" is an insult though. You obviously work with a very specific and narrow definition of "socialist")

                1. This post has been deleted by a moderator

                2. Mr F&*king Grumpy

                  "socialist" is an insult

                  "socialist" is an insult" --- c'mon, most Merkins think "Liberal" is an insult. While banging on about how JESUS is their LAWWWDDD.

                  The whole country is a irrecoverable basket case.

                3. LucreLout Silver badge

                  Re: Not Trump again, please

                  I do like the way you think "socialist" is an insult though.

                  Any educated rational person would balk at the term socialist being applied to themselves. Socialism is the impoverishment of all but the party leadership, who grow metaphorically and physically fat while the rest starve.

                  By way of citations, just have a little look at the latest socialist paradise of Venezuela. Socialism doesn't work, because it can't work. It's failed everywhere its ever been applied and at every time in history.

              2. Rich 11 Silver badge

                Re: Not Trump again, please

                By then, Trump will have a success record BETTER than Reagan's.

                He's going to trump the Iran-Contra affair? Well, there's something to look forward to...

              3. disgruntled yank Silver badge

                Re: Not Trump again, please

                Remind us why we should take your junior high school English teacher's statements on politics as authoritative.

            2. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

              Re: Not Trump again, please

              "Here I was hoping that the backlash would be a reasonably moderate canidate, that would win by a landslide."

              I suspect things will have to get a lot more worse before a moderate candidate gets to win the popularity circus. Election campaigns are just like advertising campaigns. Each has to be bigger, better, more controversial than the last. You can no longer campaign on common sense and reasonable policies. You have throw dirt around like an angry chimp to win or "the people" won't vote for you.

    4. Nick Kew

      Re: Not Trump again, please

      That's precisely the big risk the Democrats run. Put up an unelectable candidate, and let Trump back in as a lesser of evils.

      I don't know enough about Warren to say if she might be that candidate. But it sounded like a bad omen when Bloomberg said he wouldn't stand because he thought he was too moderate/centrist to secure the Democratic nomination in the current climate. If that's even remotely true, it suggests a real risk of their putting forward, if not a Corbyn then his US counterpart.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Not Trump again, please

        I think Bloomberg needed a reason not to run because he wasn't electable and that reason painted him in a good light. A Warren/Sanders or Warren/Sanders ticket would be strong. I know little about Biden but, at least, he didn't seem to have a lot scandal following him. He's not as left as either Warren or Sanders as far as I can tell and that might be a positive for a lot of centrists. Personally, I lean more to the left so like Sanders best. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is young and new, to hard to elect for that position, but is basically correct, imo.

        1. Someone Else Silver badge

          Re: Not Trump again, please

          Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is young and new, to hard to elect for that position, but is basically correct, imo.

          If you read the Constitution, you'd know the real reason AOC is "unelectable" (and will remain so for the next 6 years).

      2. ST Silver badge

        Re: Not Trump again, please

        > Bloomberg said he wouldn't stand

        Bloomberg would be toxic on any ticket, for any party.

        For one, Bloomberg's political career spans all possible political colors: Democrat, Independent, Republican. Whichever brings him the most money.

        He is too tied to Wall Street, and particularly to Goldman Sachs. He managed to buy himself a third term as New York City Mayor, although the City's Charter limits the Mayor to two terms. During his third election as Mayor he spent USD $73 per New York City resident from his own money, and he still barely won.

        During the Occupy Wall Street movement in 2011 he ordered the NYPD to brutalize the kids who were protesting in Zuccotti Park, while claiming in the media that insofar as he is concerned, the protesters can stay there indefinitely. There are photos of the NYPD beating up on kids with billy-clubs. This is video showing the NYPD evicting protesters from Zuccotti Park on November 15, 2011.

        A Mayor Who Puts Wall Street First.

        Bloomberg’s One Percent Solution.

        Wanna run on that?

    5. Charlie Clark Silver badge

      Re: Not Trump again, please

      Let's just ignore the fact that at the moment, this is merely posturing, the primaries don't even start until next year*, the position is remarkably similar to Trump's one adopted against Time Warner and the takeover by AT&T. All the democrats who've announced their intention to run are adopting Sanderist positions, even if they know better: Warren used never to be the firebrand that she has become.

      The good news is that, in general, virtually none of the policies that get bandied around in the early part of the US Presidential Pageant ever get implemented. The sooner more people realise this and decide that maybe primaries aren't such a good idea, the better.

      * I pity you for the barrage of stuff you're going to get for the next 18 months, and, that will also invade the news cycles of the rest of the world.

    6. disgruntled yank Silver badge

      Re: Not Trump again, please

      You are aware that though Sanders caucused with the Democrats he was not registered and had not run as such?

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Pocahontas says what?

    Someone that used her 1/1000th Native American heritage for career advancement cannot be trusted.

    I used to think Warren was a straightforward decent candidate, but when I heard about this stupidity I knew she was just like any other striver politician that will do anything for absolute power. Kinda like the guy that currently occupies the Whitehouse and which every man and his dog just loves to hate.

  10. JLV

    I hope either the Dems pick an electable platform and candidate. Or the Reps jettison MagaMan. The world really can’t take 4 more years of that $hithead. Literally, as in we really need to get emissions under control.

    Re. Warren’s particular position here I find it a mixed bag. Data privacy could be achieved by GDPR like means rather than government management of companies. But I find Amazon the most worrisome long term. A continent with one megacorp handling all consumer retail is pretty dystopian so Sherman Act bears consideration. Mind you, FB n Google might also be blocked from future acquisitions in their fields of dominance.

    But it’s got to be realistic economic planning, not something that wins primaries and fizzles out come Nov next year.

    oh, and about the Cato Institute? read their position on the buffoon’s wall

    1. larzman

      what's wrong there JLV? The excellent economy? the record jobless rate? Blacks & hispanics unemployment at record lows? stock market cruising along nicely? USA being the world's largest oil/gas producer? Sure, Trump has his stupid moments, just like any other president, but he's done an excellent job policy-wise.

      1. Someone Else Silver badge

        Sure is a good thing for MagaT-boy that he had that black man's shoulders to stand on.

  11. onebignerd

    Why don't we enact some tough privacy and data storage laws (Equifax), better anti-trust laws for banks, insurance and stock/bonds? They broke up MaBell but they are allowing Sprint, Verizon and AT&T to slowly become the same monopoly. Same with oil, natural gas, electricity, media, Government contractors...etc. Facebook will eventually cause it's own self destruction.

    Not to mention Government institutions; Postal Service, Social Security, Medicare/Medicaid, Veterans Adimin, Education....etc. It's more complex than just online, retail and social media.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Ma Bell

      Became Verizon, and now we don't have Bell Labs. Gee, thanks.

      Learn history.

      1. dew3

        Re: Ma Bell

        The first sentence, while wrong in every way(*), is not especially worth a response.

        But "learn history" is rather silly after such a historically wrong first sentence, so...

        (*) "Ma Bell" (AT&T actually) spun off 7 regional Bell operating companies (none of which was "Verizon") and AT&T kept (among other things) Bell Labs. Today Bell Labs still exists, now a subsidiary of Nokia. Verizon was formed almost 20 years after the breakup when one of those Bell spinoffs (Bell Atlantic) merged with GTE, a big phone & electronics company that was never part of the Bell system. In fact (for little-known history) after buying ConTel, another big non-Bell phone company, GTE was the biggest local phone company in the US for a few years in the 1990s. Anyway, if Ma Bell arguably "became" any one thing, it is... today's AT&T, which is a merger of the remains of the 1980s AT&T plus 4 of those 7 regional Bell phone companies.

      2. BigSLitleP

        Re: Ma Bell

        Your response was so wrong, it's no wonder you posted as AC

  12. The Nazz

    That's going to be interesting.

    To get to be the President, she, together with all her Democratic party resources, human as well as financial, is going to have to use the hell out of the likes of Facebook and Google. The cost of doing so, to both the Dems and Republicans must run into the multi-billions of $$. Money NOT well spent.

    Strange how FB is only undemocratic when the "entitled" party, and would be Prez, are defeated a la 2016.

    Set a good example to the public and stop using those big tech companies?

  13. HeyUkidsGetOffMyLawn

    All Glory to the God Emperor

    All glory to God Emperor Trump! The socialist dogs cannot win.

  14. Mr Han

    Less useful?

    said that Warren's ideas would "increase prices for consumers, make search and maps less useful, and raise costs to small businesses that advertise online."

    Why would more competition increase prices and make maps less useful? More competition would provide the likes of Here maps or OSMand greater opportunites to improve their services.

    I stopped using most google services years ago. Google searches have become useless, biased and with far fewer pages of results.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Less useful?

      It's sad, but more regulation virtually never ensures more competition. In fact, quite the opposite, it generally reinforces the dominant players by insulating them from competition.

    2. MJI Silver badge

      Re: Less useful?

      I noticed this Google search is becoming pretty rubbish.

      Search for common word, common word, rare word.

      I get pages of common searches with the rare crossed out, sometimes it does work fine, but often it is rubbish.

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    You normally hear this talk on the Right

    ..because Google, Facebook, Twitter et al tend to lean left. It certainly distinguishes her in the field, but I think this is what is known in the US as a Hail Mary play: shit or bust. After her "Indian" problems, she's not a serious candidate. No Democrat candidate with a chance of winning will want to do this: the idea of controlling all debate by shutting down their opponents communications is something they are rather keen on :-(

  16. chivo243 Silver badge

    Another Battle Cry!

    Elect me and I'll build a wall! Elect me and I'll bust the tech titans! I don't understand how anyone believes in this tripe, and doesn't see it for what it is? It's like some mass mind control or brainwashing.

    1. This post has been deleted by its author

  17. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

    There is a non-political means of breaking them up.

    I'm just waiting for an activist investor to move in. Why do they keep badgering the small stuff when there are targets of that size.

    1. Charlie Clark Silver badge

      Facebook, Google and Amazon are effectivly controlled by their founders so activist investors haven't got much hope.

  18. Version 1.0 Silver badge

    It's not just Google, Facebook and Amazon that are the problem

    The real problem is that the larger the corporation gets, the easier it is to avoid paying taxes. It's endemic - remember that in the US corporations are people too - for many people in the US, taxes end up being voluntary unless you are poor, or middle-class - then you need to pay. Warren's proposal will piss off the people running both parties.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: It's not just Google, Facebook and Amazon that are the problem

      Apple is the largest taxpayer in the US, so that isn't universally true. Now they do a better job of avoiding taxes elsewhere in the world, but the EU seems to be plugging that hole with the $13 billion they will have to pay Ireland.

      I don't see any reason why a company with a revenue of $100 billion should be able to do a better job of avoiding taxes than a company with a revenue of $10 billion or even $1 billion. Once you go multinational there are a lot of avenues open which smaller businesses don't have. Splitting up companies isn't the fix for that, fixing the tax code is.

      1. DCFusor

        Re: It's not just Google, Facebook and Amazon that are the problem

        That's quite the trick, though. It's a genuinely hard problem. "All it takes" is for every government in the world to agree on something - pay tax where you make the money, for example.

        Which has never and probably never will happen - the only thing governments agree on 100%, ever, is, if I'm bigger, I get what I want or I start a war and get what I want. Teenager behavior at best.

        There always has and always will be at least one that says "give me a little tax" and I'll let you off the rest.

        As now.

        What's sick is that I as a tiny company can do the same stuff. But since I'd have to set up an office in such a country - I hear there's one near the'd cost me more than I make, vs the pocket change it is for the big boys.

        Just like it's just as illegal for me to steal bread or sleep under a bridge as it is for a homeless guy.

        Only I have plenty for food and a nice roof (not to mention access to legal representation) so...

        But the law is "fair"!

        Solve that and a heck of a lot of other problems get solved along the way. I'll root for you.

  19. mark l 2 Silver badge

    The breaking off of Instagram from Facebook would be a big blow to Zuckerburg. They should never have been allowed to buy Instagram in the first place. It was a viable competitor in social media before they took it over. And is becoming more popular with the youth than is now and this trend will probably continue.

  20. fishman

    "Google, for example, won't consider - even for a second - paying news outlets for using their content. It expects to be able to grab and use it for free while making money by running ads alongside."

    I don't see any ads when I use Google news even in browsers without ad blocking, for both desktop and mobile devices.

    Google news drives traffic to news outlets. If the publisher doesn't want Google to do it all they need to do is add a robots.txt file to stop it.

  21. Dedobot

    Fixing liberal democracy and free market with countless security patches is short time work around.

    Implement good old fachism - its kernel based security stack is a top notch :-)

  22. DJ

    Sure, we'll get right on that.

    Right after we finish legislating good taste.

  23. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I don't see this as very likely

    But I think there are a few things that could be done:

    1) force Facebook to sell off Instagram and Whatsapp

    2) force Google to sell off Android+Chrome and Search

    3) find some solution so Amazon can't screw all the small sellers, or take over the shipping market which will happen soon if they aren't stopped

    No one company should be able to collect detailed information about people's lives the way Google does, and the way Facebook wishes they could (probably trying to catch up is why they keep stepping in privacy issues every third day) Amazon is simply trying to expand both horizontally and vertically and probably hopes to become Wall-E's BuynLarge.

    1. bombastic bob Silver badge

      Re: I don't see this as very likely

      Google is owned by 'Alphabet' and so they could sell those business groups to 'Alphabet'. As long as they run independently, things would be fine.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: I don't see this as very likely

        Having common ownership would mean they are saying "trust us"...and that's been working so well for these data collecting outfits like Google and Facebook! If they really were going to operate them independently, not sharing data etc. then why not fully spin them off? Shareholders would get shares of each, so it isn't like they are losing anything - unless they are currently getting a "monopoly premium".

        In many cases when a company has split its parts are worth more than the whole was. Many analysts want Amazon to spin off AWS because they think Amazon + AWS is worth less than they'd each be as separate units.

  24. GrapeBunch

    Telling lies does not disqualify a person from becoming President of the United States. Some might add "unfortunately". I read the Bustamante report (which is now not so easy to find as it once was) and am not convinced that Ms. Warren has uttered even a single lie. Self-identifying as Native American when she is 99% European is surprising, unrealistic, maybe even sad, but I would not call it a lie. Whereas the other guy ... I wouldn't believe him if he said that none of his recent ancestors was a bordello operator. I wouldn't even believe that, given his track record. Were he to claim that.

    I like Elizabeth Warren's proposal. But I don't think it will happen, even if she wins in 2020. Pity.

    1. GrapeBunch

      Here it is, explained in excruciating detail:

      Or you can just downvote me in seconds, as achieved by Saturday night revelers, above. Come on, you know you want to.

      El Reg doesn't normally delve into DNA technique. But I think this is important. Elizabeth Warren was quoted in this story on the basis of being a candidate for the US Presidency in 2020. If she's just josie blough, no story. More than one publication has stated that the Native American brouhaha has disqualified her as a candidate with a chance in 2020. I say Shirley the world isn't that crazy, quite yet.

  25. The Average Joe

    So the US Government's investigation of Microsoft has had what measurable impact?

    Microsoft has stifled competition for decades. The US Government tried to see how to level the playing field and failed.

    Microsoft still abuses it's monopoly on the desktop space.

    There is NO competitor that can run Win32 binaries. The US Government should have forced Microsoft to have 2 other source code partners that distributed the same platform to launch applications. I would have been the guy to buy IBM Windows over Microsoft Windows, like in the days of OS/2 running win16 applications.

    The market has moved away from Microsoft as we see over 2 billion Android mobile devices and 1 billion IOS devices. The corporate users are confined to desktop apps are still hostage to the legacy desktop applications...

  26. RLWatkins

    Big media companies should come first...

    ... because any effort to break up other monopolies will fail as long as media monopolies control the information which reaches voters.

  27. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge

    Shame on you El Reg

    you missed off the Cupertino Tat Reseller aka Apple from you list.

    She wants them to relinqish control of the app Store because they are a monopoly.

    Strange that there are more Androids out there than iDevices but since when has a few facts stopped a politician from jumping on a bandwagon (or 4)?

  28. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I tried Googling for Liz Warren but could only find pictures of sewage works, I looked on Facebook for Warren but it kept directing me to some page about baboons bottoms and I tried to buy a Warren doll on Amazon but was directed to this item

    Funny that, can't see the cause and effect.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      You need to get me a beer too :-)

  29. Dapprman

    Surely all you need to do is ....

    ....start spreading rumours round that Google and Facebook are looking to kill off Twitter and I'm sure Trump will try and get a 280 character policy in place within decatweets.

  30. This post has been deleted by its author

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