Multiple antitrust investigations may be targeting the likes of Facebook and Google, but Republican presidential candidate Mark Sanford doesn’t think the issue will be easy to conclude. In fact, Sanford sees the whole issue of tackling Big Tech as a winding road that may not have a conclusion.
The range of issues vary in the investigations of “Big Tech,” ranging from anti-competitive practices to how their advertising unfairly affects small businesses. There are also privacy issues at play here, something Sanford is separating from the current issue of antitrust that is propelling the investigations.
On “Big Tech,” Sanford doesn’t necessarily see an easy solution to hammer out the problems that have been spawned from this still-emerging industry.
“If you look at the whole, certainly the Judiciary Committee is piling on and they are joining [dozens of] other state attorneys general on this whole antitrust questions but I would simply say if you look at the history of these things, the first antitrust suit against IBM was actually filed in 1968,” Sanford told FOX Business.
“And if you look at  with the creation of the ‘Baby Bells’ and some of what happened with AT&T, this stuff is slow-moving whether it is on the IBM front, the AT&T front. Because what you have to do, from the standpoint of antitrust, is to prove harm to the consumers.”
It is unclear the end game of the investigations into Big Tech and how something that is global could potentially be broken up like what happened to the regionalization of AT&T in 1984.
In fact, AT&T has pieced together many of the pieces that were divided up from its holdings to form a company that has a very similar blueprint to the pre-1984 division.
All of which is a caution for the state and federal investigations into Big Tech. Sanford doesn’t see the issue settling itself anytime soon.
“I think that in many cases, separate from the privacy question which is a very different question, it becomes very difficult and timely to prove,” Sanford said. “So I would say, yeah, you hear a lot of saber-rattling right now but I suspect we see this as a very slow-moving movie.”
A former governor of South Carolina, Sanford joined the small cadre of those seeking to unseat President Trump in next year’s Republican primaries. At the forefront of Sanford’s platform is a return to a balanced budget and cutting back on wasteful spending that has led to an increase in the national debt in recent years. In addition to his two terms as governor, Sanford also spent 12 years in Congress.