Senator Bernie Sanders: ‘We should definitely take a look at’ breaking up Google, Amazon, Apple

U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders (photo: Sarah Silbiger/Getty Images)
U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders (photo: Sarah Silbiger/Getty Images)

Cristiano Lima for Politico:

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) said Tuesday “we should definitely take a look at” splitting up Google, Amazon and Apple, though he stopped short of a full-throated call for their break-ups.

“I worry very much about monopolistic tendencies in many sectors of our economy, including high tech, and I think we have to take a really hard look at the degree to which monopolization in all aspects of our economy are a threat to the American people,” said the 2020 Democratic presidential contender when asked about the prospect. Pressed again on whether he supports splintering those three tech giants, Sanders replied, “It’s something we should definitely take a look at, yes.”

Sanders told Politico in May he supports calls to break up another industry titan, Facebook. Sanders’ remarks Tuesday are his first on whether he supports similar action against Google, Amazon and Apple.

MacDailyNews Take: Apple is not a monopoly in any market in which they participate. Therefore, there is no legal basis for “breaking up” Apple Inc.

So, Apple’s case, there is no monopoly (which is legal by the way), much less monopoly abuse (which is explicitly impossible given the nonexistence of a monopoly). You cannot abuse a monopoly and therefore face antitrust action when you do not have a monopoly.

Worldwide smartphone OS market share, February 2019:

• Android: 74.15%
• iOS: 23.28%

Again, it’ll be very interesting to see the breakdown of political donations out of Silicon Valley this cycle.

63 Comments

      1. You apparently don’t understand communism. Bernie’s roots are in Marxist thought which is why he believes that the government take over of banks and other industries is not unmerited. Communism is the final state of socialism where the gov’t disbands and puts ownership in the hands of people. That’s why no true communist state exists or ever has. Central planning never achieves its ideals therefore the need for gov’t never goes away.

        1. theledger, you are confused and conflating just like the entire Trumpanzee clown show. Public funding for stuff like the military and infrastructure is socialist, and the USA has always had elements of socialism from day one.

          The only reason oligarchs love to badmouth government institutions is because if they successfully convince the voters to embrace their brand of “capitalism”, then the oligarchs will have massive monopolies. Putin and Xi demonstrate this every day.

          Just ask Trump, he actually believes that China, Russia, and North Korea (all beautiful letter writers) have great government systems. Republicans have been literally bragging that their one-party control would solve everything, just like those undemocratic nations Trump admires so much. Because as an oligarch with no opposition, you are the bank, and capitalism is all about the bank making all the rules to enrich itself at the expense of consumers and labor.

          Populist idiots don’t realize that neither pure capitalism nor pure socialism can ever work. Of course that doesn’t stop them from parroting the Trump family biz pep rally chants over and over. They are brainwashed into voting against their own interests (witness the tariff games) for the promise of tough talk from a guy who never told the truth or read a book in his life.

          Communism is centralized control of production, whereby private enterprises cannot exist. Such a form of government has never worked and hasn’t ever been advocated by any legitimate presidential candidate in decades. Shame on you for spreading the fake Faux News nonsense.

          1. @theledger is talking about the extremes of pure communism. Your post does nothing to refute that and it is obviously tainted by your hatred for President Trump, Republicans and Fox News. Shame on YOU…

            1. Pure communism cannot exist and has never existed. Pure communism would mean that no personal property exists. If you think Bernie or any other politician in the world is advocating that, you are truly brainwashed. Chicken Littles peddling extremist paranoia that has nothing to do with reality. In your world, you cheer for publicly funded military while actively attacking Bernie for his proposal that some of that money would be better spent ensuring every American a college education or trade school. Massive areas of the USA are education deserts, with rich corrupt people bribing their brats way into college. But we cannot do better, you say. You would rather have a nation of undereducated idiots than reallocate a dime of military largesse. After all, sabre rattling with Iran makes you feel safe.

        1. Gotta love all those black and white thinkers out there! Such folks believe in the axiom that all government is bad, therefore all regulation is bad.

          Here’s a news flash: the free market cannot exist without the rule of law. You know, things like property law, contract law, intellectual property law, tort law, etc.

          Without the rule of law, we’d all be living in a Mad Max style dystopia. Wanna know another word for the rule of law?

          Regulation.

          If huge multi-national corporations can do whatever they want without restraint in pursuit of ‘shareholder value’ (i.e. profits), the world is well and truly f**ked.

          In a functional society, corporations are a tool to promote human welfare. In a broken society, people are the tools of corporations and exist only to maximize the wealth of the 0.1%.

          Which world do you want to live in? I prefer a world in which corporations and government are both on a leash and work for the benefit of the people as a whole.

        2. Oh how terrible it is to have the people collectively pay and equally benefit from the military, roads, libraries, fire departments, hospitals, schools, law enforcement, air traffic control, ….. all EVIL SOCIALIST DEEP STATE BAD GUVMINT STUFF THAT IS DESTROYING AMERICA!!!!

          /s

          You Trumpanzees really don’t have a clue do you? Nobody including Bernie wants to get in the way of a COMPETITIVE MARKET. But first we have to stop the cronyism and the monopolies and get an efficient government to SPEND LESS by stopping all the FUCKING CORPORATE WELFARE. The is no goddamn reason for the citizen to pay high taxes and get nothing while corporations write themselves tax loopholes and are gifted all kinds of exemptions and grants. Democratic Socialism, with correct checks and balances, allows people to choose what services and costs they want to amortize over the largest possible pool of people, and what stuff should be totally on free enterprise so they can learn to fend for themselves. Read and learn people. Not every road you drive should be a goddamn corporate owned toll road. That is what “pure capitalism” offers. And if you don’t like that costly toll bridge, tough, go to Company B up the river who sets his prices suspiciously identical to Ptivate Toll Company A. You would be stupid to pretend that this is now how capitalism gets corrupted when democratic checks and balances are undermined by 2 equally corrupt parties.

    1. Dude, you need to get a grip. If you think that the GOP is interested in fundamental fairness and wants to dismantle government power, you are completely deluded.

    2. You must have been inconsolable after FDR crushed both the Nazis and Japanese Imperialism in a 2 front war. Did you protest when JFK forced Russia to remove its missiles from Cuba? I can’t even imagine how terrible if must have been for you when Obama’s seal teams successfully took out bin Laden.

      Or did you instead cheer when Nixon opened trade with communist China? Did you endorse Reagan’s gifts of weapons to Iran? Did you scream MAGA at the top of your lungs when both Bushes “defended” monarchy and Exxon interests in the middle east? How about that >$5 Trillion war cost that little Bushy just didn’t bother to put on the budget. Given the choice to fight the spread of communism, your orange hero suddenly had bone spurs, which magically had zero effect on his playboy lifestyle with bimbos and imported silicone can wives. Not even a limp.

      Why precisely do you believe corrupt rethuglicans are any better than dummycrats at waging meaningful war? There hasn’t been a single war the republicans won against socialism or communism. On the contrary, the only reason Rethug wrap themselves in the flag is because they know they can profit massively via the military industrial complex as long as the sheeple are paranoid. All bark, no bite.

      Watch out for those scary muslim terrorists sneaking in, walking 1000 miles to ask for asylum from a drug war that the USA has fought unsuccessfully for decades. Scary scary!

        1. As opposed to the murderous. dictators every Republican since Nixon bows to? Trump was practically drooling at the extreme power Saudi dictators have.

          Keep trying to make your team look like a well polished kettle, kent. It’s still as black as the pot you compare it to. But rethugs do spend more to dig bigger debts and have the nasty habit of triggering recessions after their pet wars. Objective truth you refuse to admit.

          Logic isn’t your strong suit. All you have is selective memory to push your narrow minded partisan bullcrap.

          Watch old bonespurs get your bipolar country into another stupid useless oil war. Whike harming both consumers and businesses with his childish and erratic brinkmanship.

    1. The SCOTUS opinion did not say that the App Store was a monopoly. It only held that the plaintiffs had legal standing to pursue their case in a trial court and try to prove that Apple’s practices were anticompetitive. Nobody has seen that proof yet.

      1. No you misunderstand. App Store is a monosopy: a monopsy is a monopoly on LBTQNCAAC++ apps that excludes heterosexual and christian apps or any apps it seems politically dangerous.

        Did you even go to law school?

  1. Donald Trump is saying “thank God for idiot Democrats”

    If you dislike D. Trump (and I’m personally disturbed by his comments on women, minorities etc) the reason why people like him get elected is idiot liberals pushing people away.

    Yes, Break up Apple and it would certainly help competition except that the competition it helps would be mostly dudes like …
    Huawei , Samsung, Xiaomi, and hundreds Asian tech companies etc plus tens of dozens more in Europe (all heavily helped, subsidized, protected by tariffs by their own governments). They would be be laughing their heads off.

    Do people believe a WEAKER Apple can so easily fend of Huawei or Samsung?

    ( Go research the extent the Chinese and Korean and European governments would go to to help their own companies vs attitudes like Sanders “Corporations are Evil”. )

    Breaking up Apple, USA’s largest taxpayer, does almost nothing for USA but helps Americas rivals around the world.

  2. With MDN Take about this cycle, and donations, Trump should make the “Crazy” play for California. The Democrats destroyed the place and I’m willing to bet there are enough voters who’ve “Had Enough”, with taxes and 800000 homeless in LA, more in SF, To send a message by voting TRUMP.

    Call me Crazy, Reagan won, so did Arnold Schwarzenegger, (R) Go for it Donald!

    1. Not going to happen. Dems have a lock on California that won’t quit. Especially now with Newsom as governor. His policies will destroy my once great state. Seems all he is concerned about is giving away taxpayer money to fund homelessness, reparations, American Indian apologist, ban guns and bullets, ban straws, pretty soon ban all packaging and plastic bags. We will be required to carry our groceries in our hands and our fast food too! They slammed a gas tax and vehicle registration fee down our throats and stupid voters upheld it, and guess what? The roads are still shit, and will remain shit, because they will find a way to divert that money so homeless people can shit on private property and criminals can commit burglaries while police look the other way. Already happening.

  3. It’s become a Democrat speaking point, to call for the investigation of breaking up large tech companies. Apple gets thrown in, because it’s Apple, and it’s big tech. Interestingly, Microsoft hasn’t been mentioned, and they’re now the biggest. Apple has nothing to fear. It’s Facebook, Google and Amazon that should be worried by the Dems. Warren, AOC, Bernie, and I’m sure there are others, have all called for an investigation.

    1. I know that Apple isn’t the same as Facebook etc.

      But I’m worried that Apple would get it the WORST.

      why?
      OPTICS and the ‘Stupid’ Demographic.

      Optics because the stupid demographic do not understand the problems caused by Facebook, google etc regarding privacy , selling info to advertisers, manipulating search results, newsfeeds etc. Really they don’t get it, it’s too complicated, too technical. So attacking Facebook etc doesn’t get votes.

      But the stupid demographic DOES understand that Apple , who sells $1000 monitor stands , represents the RICH (i.e the so called ‘evil one percent’ ), and because of this many want Apple to be ‘taken down a rung’.

      Politicians know that whacking Apple gets Votes just like putting Apple in Doom articles gets clicks.

      Writers fro WSJ to NYT to Bloomberg know that they can spew whatever negative nonsense they want about Apple and vast numbers of readers would cheer. (That’s one reason Apple stock is so lowly valued ).

      Likewise politicians today know that whacking Apple gets votes.

      Apple got into and lost the DOJ iBook case due to politics, optics and misunderstanding of Apple. Apple was a tiny tiny book retailer who was working to get the best for publishers and Amazon was a monolithic book retailer controlling almost all the ebook trade, yet the DOJ pursued Apple instead of Amazon.

      Go Read how Yale analyzed it: “From Yale: How Apple v. Amazon was misjudged”

    2. And they won’t get anywhere the GENTRY CLASS RUN THE COUNTRY, the Pinkerton’s have enforced the law. And most of the country is fighting each other as usual…..

  4. Huh? Why don’t these people concentrate on providing Affordable Healthcare and protecting Seniors from being TAXED when receiving Social Security? Focus on that for once.

  5. I think he’s just jumping on the bandwagon, that’s why he has no actual plans. People know that Apple, FB, et al are really big and this makes them vaguely uncomfortable which makes them targets for politicians. I could see some regulations being good, some consumer protections, privacy restrictions, copyright protections (I’m looking at you YouTube), but I don’t see much benefit in breaking them up.

      1. Apple is just as “old” as microsoft. Founding dates:

        CTR/IBM – 1911/1924
        Microsoft – April 4 1975
        Apple – April 1, 1976
        Amazon – July 5, 1994
        Google – September 4, 1998
        Facebook – February 4, 2004

        Facts. They’re a thing.

        Cheers!

        1. Old in outlook and who they serve, half of Apple was Next computers the part that got them back in the game hardly old and the same applies to iOS and the iPod, Facts mister one-zero thinker.

          1. NeXT was never part of Apple. Apple II preceded IBM’s PC, and the very successful Apple II was using Microsoft software (6502-based integer BASIC) while MS was still struggling to be anything.

            These are facts. Aged outlook? Is that a fact, or your opinion? Sorry you had to stoop to an ad hominem, but I was just pointing out your error. Methinks thou doth protest too much, or as the kidz say, “Butthurt much?”.

            Cheers!

            1. I made a mistake there. In re-reading the above, I noticed a factual error – the 6502-based integer BASIC was what Apple originally produced for the Apple I – Steve Wozniak writing the original version. The floating-point version was licenced from MIcrosoft in 1977, adapted to the Apple II and released as Applesoft BASIC. Hope that clears up my ill-formed words.

            2. I knew you would continue your attempt to change history. Obviously, you never used a NeXT machine – yes, the kernel and architecture were re-used, but the interface looked nothing like OS X, it looked very similar to other UNIX GUIs of the time. The real magic was laying the Finder metaphor atop the UNIX underpinnings. Apple was no stranger to UNIX, the Macintosh Programmers Workshop was built on top of A/UX, licensed from the dinosaur that ate its young, aka IBM. Jobs realised that UNIX had already solved most of the problems Mac OS and Windows faced at the time – it just needed a pretty face, and a more consumer-friendly price. Apple was experimenting with other approaches, BeOS, Copland, Pink, but Jobs arrived with his team, and Apple saw the light.

              To say Mac OS X or iOS is just NeXt, is an overstatement that displays a lack of historical context. You might just as easily say NeXT is just a VAX on steroids.

              Also, please note that Apple is now moving away from those legacy NS components, most of which are based on code written in the early-to-mid 90s and are fairly considered as boat-anchors now.

              All this to say, what were you trying to suggest in your original post? That IBM and Microsoft are “old” and have therefore “paid the man”? Again, Apple and Microsoft are absolutely contemporary, and Apple’s success preceded Microsoft’s, so how is Microsoft any “older” than Apple?

    1. For one, they’ve already been down this road, and got off pretty easy IMO.
      Secondly, they didn’t control the whole ecosystem and didn’t control the applications and distribution at all.

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