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Sen. Brown: Yes, it's time to break up Facebook

The top Democratic Senator on the Banking Committee says it’s time to break up Facebook (FB).

In an interview shortly after the Senate Banking Committee’s hearing on Facebook’s cryptocurrency plans, Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) said big tech companies like Facebook have too much power.

When Yahoo Finance asked if it is time to break up Facebook, Brown did not hesitate before answering “yes.”

Brown compared the tech companies of 2019 to the big banks during the financial crisis.

“They wreaked too much havoc on our economy 10 years ago because of their market power, and we're seeing the same in the tech companies. That's why people in this country went from loving the tech companies over the last many years until the last four or five years to being very suspicious to the point of so many people now say, ‘break them up,’ because they have too much market power,” said Brown.

Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, speaks during a Senate Finance Committee hearing with pharmacy benefit managers on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, April 9, 2019, exploring the high cost of prescription drugs. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

Brown called Facebook “dangerous” and slammed the company over its Libra project. He said he hopes Facebook stops the initiative.

“Bigger and bigger tech companies — more and more power. More and more corporate control, more and more political power,” said Brown.

On Tuesday afternoon, Facebook testified before the the House Judiciary’s antitrust panel, as part of the committee’s investigation into big tech.

Antitrust subcommittee chairman David Cicilline (D-RI) told Yahoo Finance he’s not calling for Facebook to be broken up at this point, but he has a lot of concerns about the company.

“I think for sure Facebook is a company that has engaged [in a] series of actions that have drawn a lot of attention, have violating consent decrees, violated the trust of their users. You know, they've been fined, so I think they stand out among many of the companies in having a lot of explaining to do,” said Cicilline.

Jessica Smith is a reporter for Yahoo Finance based in Washington, D.C. Follow her on Twitter at @JessicaASmith8.

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