Elizabeth Warren has called for tech giants including Amazon, Google and Facebook to be broken up, indicating that proposals to curb Silicon Valley’s growing power will be a key theme of the race to challenge Donald Trump in the next presidential election.
The senior US senator and a leading candidate for the Democratic nomination said the companies had “bulldozed competition and tilted the playing field in their favour” as she laid out a plan for strict antitrust rules.
Ms Warren said that as president she would appoint regulators to unwind anti-competitive mergers, including Facebook’s acquisitions of Instagram and WhatsApp and Amazon’s purchase of Whole Foods.
Tech companies with annual revenues of more than $25bn (£19bn) would be have their “platforms” such as a search engine or online marketplace designated as utilities, and would be unable to compete with other participants on them.
For example, Amazon would be prevented from selling its own products alongside competitors on its shopping website, and Google would be banned from promoting its own restaurant ratings feature over rivals such as Yelp.
“We must ensure that today’s tech giants do not crowd out potential competitors, smother the next generation of great tech companies, and wield so much power that they can undermine our democracy,” Ms Warren said.