Senator cautions against breaking up Big Tech following antitrust hearing

Tim Cook
Tim Cook (Image credit: Apple)

What you need to know

  • Senator Mark Warner has spoken out against breaking up Big Tech.
  • In the wake of Wednesday's antitrust hearing, he cautioned Chinese companies could take their place.
  • He says the focus should be on adding more competition.

Senator Mark Warner has cautioned against breaking up Big Tech in the wake of a House antitrust hearing, stating that Chinese companies could replace them if that happens.

According to CNBC:

Sen. Mark Warner isn't taking a break-up of U.S. tech giants off the table, but said Thursday he's wary of having their Chinese equivalents take their place."I'm not in the break-'em-up category – yet," said Warner, D-Va., when asked on CNBC's "Squawk Box" about how companies like Facebook, Apple, Google and Amazon could be regulated. "These are all global companies. Frankly, to have them replaced by Alibaba or Baidu or Tencent – Chinese companies may not be the better alternative," Warner said.

Warner said that he would "rather start with" keeping break-up as a reserve option, and a focus on adding more competition. Warner says that in the wake of yesterday's antitrust hearing, regulators should move for changes including increased transparency, in particular on the data they hold of users.

He also wants data portability, the ability to move all of your data away from a company like Facebook to a new platform.

Another radical idea is that users should be able "to know what your data is worth on an either monthly or quarterly basis", dispelling the myth that these services are somehow free.

Looking ahead, Warner said, "I think there are a series of pro-competition rules of the road that I would much rather use first before I immediately default to the break-up camp."

Stephen Warwick
News Editor

Stephen Warwick has written about Apple for five years at iMore and previously elsewhere. He covers all of iMore's latest breaking news regarding all of Apple's products and services, both hardware and software. Stephen has interviewed industry experts in a range of fields including finance, litigation, security, and more. He also specializes in curating and reviewing audio hardware and has experience beyond journalism in sound engineering, production, and design.

Before becoming a writer Stephen studied Ancient History at University and also worked at Apple for more than two years. Stephen is also a host on the iMore show, a weekly podcast recorded live that discusses the latest in breaking Apple news, as well as featuring fun trivia about all things Apple. Follow him on Twitter @stephenwarwick9