By Alan Murray and David Meyer
March 12, 2019

Good morning.

Is bigness bad? Elizabeth Warren thinks so. She has put #BreakUpBigTech at the center of her campaign for the presidency. And in this new age of populism, it has a nice ring to it.

But why? Traditional antitrust law focuses on protecting the consumer. It’s impossible to argue that companies like Amazon and Google have limited consumer choice. Rather, they have done the opposite—giving consumers more price transparency, more choice and more options than they have ever had before.

Instead, Warren’s argument for breaking up the big tech companies requires extending antitrust law into an entirely new area—one that holds that bigness is bad for social reasons independent of consumer choice. That’s a much harder argument to make.

But it’s not as hard this morning as it used to be. Yesterday, someone at Facebook apparently took down Warren’s #BreakUpBigTech ads on the social sharing platform “because they violated our policies against use of our corporate logo.” Big mistake. The company restored the ads, but not quickly enough. It has now become Exhibit A in Warren’s argument.

“Curious why I think FB has too much power?” Warren posted on Twitter. “Let’s start with their ability to shut down a debate over whether FB has too much power.”

More news below.

Alan Murray


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