Democratic presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren wants to break up some of the nation’s biggest technology companies if she wins the 2020 election – but that hasn’t stopped employees of those same companies from bankrolling her campaign.
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According to analysis conducted by the Bay Area News Group, the Massachusetts Democrat amassed some of the biggest donations from employees of Amazon, Apple, Facebook, Google and Google’s parent company Alphabet over the second-quarter fundraising period, which ranged from April through June. She was second only to Pete Buttigieg, the mayor of South Bend, Indiana.
In the second fundraising quarter, Warren -- a fierce consumer advocate -- pulled in about $102,000 from big tech companies, (compared to Buttigieg’s $124,000). That’s despite her fiery rhetoric about breaking up some of the nation’s biggest technology companies, which she has previously likened to monopolies.
California Sen. Kamala Harris also received sizable donations from tech employees -- though sizably less than her 2020 opponents -- pulling in about $59,619. Independent Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders likewise boasted about $54,153 in donations from tech employees.
Last quarter, Warren pulled in close to $39,000 from those same tech companies, which have come under increased scrutiny by both Democrats and Republicans amid simmering tensions surrounding concerns about privacy violations, antitrust issues and alleged conservative bias.
Warren was the first presidential candidate in 2020 to call for the break up of big tech -- though others were quick to follow suit. In a Medium post, Warren said companies like Amazon, Facebook and Google are consolidating power and pushing out competition.
“Today’s big tech companies have too much power -- too much power over our economy, our society, and our democracy,” Warren wrote. “They’ve bulldozed competition, used our private information for profit, and tilted the playing field against everyone else. And in the process, they have hurt small businesses and stifled innovation.”
Buttigieg has also warned that consolidation of big companies -- not just tech -- “can very quickly turn into a kind of monopoly power that diminishes our freedom.” During a CNN town hall in April, Buttigieg said he supported empowering the Federal Trade Commission to better handle tech monopolies.
“Antitrust law as we know it has begun to hit its limits with regulating tech companies,” Buttigieg said at the time. “It’s not designed to handle some of these tech companies where there’s actually no price at all. The product is made free, or at least it’s free on its face. We’ve learned in part because of the way our data are used by these companies that nothing is actually free.”