Manchester, NH– Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) joined Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) and other Democratic presidential hopefuls on Monday night at a CNN town hall meeting in New Hampshire. There, she reiterated her position that tech giants and online retailers like Amazon, Facebook, and Google should be broken up, as they harm the potential for small businesses. She also admitted that she continues to shop at Amazon, which some may see as a little hypocritical.
Senator Warren said at the town hall that “big tech” is crushing the competition in today’s market. She has outlined her plan to break up these companies and appoint antitrust regulators to examine some of the largest mergers between tech companies. Warren also criticizes the practice of modern retail giants performing dual actions in the market, stating that sites like Amazon and Facebook are making money both as platforms and information aggregators.
These companies increase their value as they become information aggregators by “collecting vast amounts of data on what people who use their platforms want. All that information allows them to put their own products on the platform, micro-targeted to appeal to the most consumers, and crowd out any competitors,” Vox explained.
So at the town hall meeting this week, when CNN anchor Anderson Cooper asked Warren “What was the last thing you bought from Amazon?” some were surprised to learn that she continues to buy from the retail giant. (Warren’s response was, “A mailbox.” Almost instantly, laughs were heard throughout the audience in Manchester, New Hampshire. Cooper asked for some elaboration: “What did they put the mailbox in when they deliver it?” Warren responded, “It comes in a box. It was a box of mailbox.”)
If Warren is elected, she says she will create legislation to minimize anti-competitive behavior by tech companies. Because of their wealth of information collected on user attitudes and past purchasing habits, big tech companies are able to target specific users in a way that smaller retailers cannot.
At the town hall Warren also defended her support for beginning impeachment hearings against President Trump, stating that one cannot make exceptions to the defense of the U.S. Constitution because of "political inconvenience."