By: Zachary Shucklin
Recently, Sen. Elizabeth Warren unveiled a plan on Medium to break up Big Tech monopolies through antitrust laws. If successful, places like Amazon Marketplace, Google’s ad exchange and Google Search would have to disaffiliate, as well as be overseen by appointed regulators. Needless to say, the Koch-ligarchy wasn’t happy. Americans for Prosperity, a Koch-funded free market group, has taken out ads and editorials against Warren’s proposal, further politicizing an issue they argue shouldn’t be politicized….smell the irony?
Sure, tech isn’t the Koch Brothers’ primary industry, but they hate regulation of any kind. “The Koch Brothers pretend to have principles. It’s cute. It’s hilarious,” said Cenk. “They don’t want the antitrust laws applied to them. They don’t want any regulation, so they do this as a pre-emptive strike against Elizabeth Warren.”
Hit pieces authored by Americans for Prosperity gripe that punishing companies for being successful limits innovation, but here’s the thing about powerful giants—they always want more. Someone has to keep these guys in check. Warren’s plan would strip companies that make $25 billion globally from owning both the platform and the platform’s participants. In addition, they wouldn’t be able to share user data with third parties. “I like that she is pushing for regulation and for the government to actually represent us instead of giant corporations, and that’s what the Koch Brothers hate most of all,” said Cenk. “If you get money out of politics, they lose all of their power and they’d have to actually compete in a free market. They hate free markets. What they love is Crony Capitalism.”
Obviously, Warren was anticipating pushback, tweeting “Oh look—the Koch brothers don’t like my ideas. Apparently they’re terrified about any effort to try and reign in the economic and political power of giant corporations. I’m shocked.” The 1% isn’t going to go down without a fight, but hey—that’s what we progressives do best.