On Tuesday, October 15, the leading twelve candidates for the Democratic Party’s nomination for President of the United States met on a stage in Westerville, Ohio for a fourth round of DNC sponsored debate. One unusual feature of this debate, compared to other such events in recent campaigns in the United States, was the amount of attention paid to issues of antitrust law and enforcement, arising in the context of Big Tech.
Warren v. Yang:
Elizabeth Warren, who is by many accounts the new front-runner in this political campaign, believes that antitrust laws should be used to break up the large tech companies, especially Facebook, Twitter, and Amazon.
The other candidates on the stage all had, at the least, reservations about that idea. One candidate, Andrew Yang, was the founder of an academic test prep company in 2005. His company was acquired by Kaplan, one of the giants in that field, much to Yang’s enrichment, in 2009. Perhaps due to that experience, Yang does not believe business consolidation is necessarily a bad thing.
The Thing to Know:
Regarding Big Tech, Yang suggested, instead of an antitrust remedy, a new understanding of private property in information: “Our data is our property, How many of you remember getting your data checks in the mail?”