While presidential candidates and senators Elizabeth Warren, Amy Klobuchar, and Bernie Sanders call for the government to step in and break up big tech monopolies, others with monied interests have taken a different tack. “Breaking things up just to be nasty is not an answer,” said Michael Bloomberg, a former New York City mayor and billionaire who has purchased himself a 2020 presidential campaign, to Mercury News. “You’ve got to have a good reason and how it would work, and I don’t hear that from anybody, the senator or anybody else.”
The Monopoly Man — Bloomberg L.P., the company that Michael Bloomberg founded and of which he owns 88 percent, makes the Bloomberg Terminal, a hardware and software technology suite which holds a massive monopoly in the financial industry. The Terminal is the company's flagship product and makes up 85 percent of Bloomberg L.P.'s revenue — which is why it's kind of unsurprising that Michael Bloomberg would say that fellow candidates like Senator Elizabeth Warren, Senator Amy Klobuchar, and Senator Bernie Sanders, “don't know what they're talking about.”
However, Bloomberg, the person, did stipulate that he would support “more limited antitrust enforcement” and would be in favor of reviewing Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act — another area of controversial tech legislation regarding whether or not social media companies can be liable for the content their users post — which is unrelated to his personal financial interests. Section 230 also happens to be one of the most valuable and important pieces of legislation ever enacted, essentially paving the way for the modern, social internet. Candidates like Bloomberg and Biden (who has also called for review of 230) would do well to learn just exactly what's at risk in altering its language or purpose (in a word: lots).
Other players — In the past, Warren has stated that if elected president she would use anti-monopoly legislation to break Google, Amazon, and Facebook up to prevent them from leveraging an unfair advantage against consumers in the marketplace. In her wake came similar calls from other 2020 candidates like Sanders and Klobuchar. As for Bloomberg, the person — he has yet to take a stance against his own company's business model.
A Sanders spokesperson has told The Verge that it wasn't “surprising that a billionaire running for president wants to protect the wealth of his billionaire friends.” Adding, “Mr. Bloomberg clearly doesn’t grasp the danger of a single company controlling what we see, hear, and read. When Sen. Sanders is in the White House he will break up tech giants that have too much control over our country—and end their corporate greed.”
Bankrupt — This is just another example of why those with an enormous amount of power and private interests should not be in charge of legislating themselves. Oil companies have, through their enormous lobbying firms, taken part in the design of environmental regulations in the past and we've all seen how that's gone.