Democratic presidential candidate Michael Bloomberg thinks Big Tech companies have too much power, but doesn’t believe that breaking them up is the answer.
In an interview published by the San Francisco Bay Area’s Mercury News on Friday, the former mayor of New York City said that he disagrees with other candidates like Sens. Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders on how to handle Big Tech.
“Breaking things up just to be nasty is not an answer,” Bloomberg said. “You’ve got to have a good reason and how it would work, and I don’t hear that from anybody, the senator or anybody else.”
Bloomberg himself owns a massive tech and media conglomerate, Bloomberg L.P., and owes his billions to the Bloomberg Terminal, a computer system that provides financial data to stock traders and other financial professionals.
While he did say some tech companies have too much power, he added that he would want to look more closely at how antitrust regulations could apply to those companies.
“It’s probably true that we shouldn’t have let Facebook buy the last big acquisition they made,” he said.
Bloomberg gave more insight into his tech policy during a supporter rally in Monterey, California. The Mercury News reports that he said he wants to see tech companies have similar legal requirements and policies as media outlets.
“The rules that apply to your publication, in terms of what your responsibilities are for whatever you distribute to the public, should also apply to [tech companies],” he said. “And when they say, ‘Well, our system is such that we have a million-billion things coming through it, we can’t do it,’ well, change your business model.”
Bloomberg’s views on Big Tech differ from some of the Democratic front-runners.
Warren has been vocal about her stance on Big Tech and made a call to break the companies up a part of her presidential campaign. Warren’s proposal would explicitly break up bigger companies, including forcing Amazon to give up control of Whole Foods and splitting Instagram and WhatsApp from Facebook. Sanders has similar ideas, saying he would appoint an attorney general who could both investigate and break up the biggest tech companies.
Pete Buttigieg, former mayor of South Bend, Indiana, said last week that there’s a strong case for breaking up Facebook, and added that Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has too much power.
Some Democratic presidential candidates, including Sanders and entrepreneur Andrew Yang, are calling for more regulation of Big Tech.
Digital Trends reached out to Bloomberg’s campaign to find out specifics about how he would regulate Big Tech if he was elected President. We will update this story once we hear back.
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