At The New Yorker Festival, Democratic presidential candidate Mayor Pete Buttigieg (D-IN) weighed in on the power that many of these large tech companies have.
“There’s no question that there’s anticompetitive behavior,” he said.
However, he came short of declaring whether or not certain companies should be broken up.
“I don’t think we should declare as candidates by fiat ‘I will break this company,’ because I think that there’s due process involved,” Buttigieg said, although he did note that some companies “are exploiting their sale” in order to fare better against competition.
Antitrust enforcement has become a bipartisan issue. Republican senators Ted Cruz and Josh Hawley have been vocal about weakening the power of Big Tech, while presidential candidate Sen. Elizabeth Warren has called for the breakup of tech giants Amazon, Google (GOOGL), and Facebook, stating that she wants “to make sure that the next generation of great American tech companies can flourish.”
While Buttigieg did not directly criticize Amazon, he did remark on how the company was able to pay $0 in taxes in 2018, despite bringing in $11.2 billion in profit.
“How is it that Amazon paid less in federal income taxes than I did last year?” he quipped.
‘A whole bunch of work we’ve got do’
Buttigieg stressed that when dealing with tech, there’s more to it than just “the monopoly piece,” which is only part of it.
“A lot of it has to do with data security and data privacy,” he said. “We don’t have a national data privacy law. And this is going to be a problem for tech companies … whether you’re a giant or a small firm, [for those who] can abuse it. We’ve got to deal with that, in addition to the monopoly issues.”
“There’s a whole bunch of work we’ve got to do, just around the whole relationship with technology,” Buttigieg said.
Adriana is an associate editor for Yahoo Finance. Follow her on Twitter @adrianambells.