News Release

Sanders Joins Calls to Break Up Facebook


Politico reports that presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) on Friday joined Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-Hawaii) in calling for the breakup of Facebook.

Asked on Capitol Hill whether he backed such calls for antitrust action against the social networking company, Sanders replied, “The answer is yes of course.”

He added: “We have an increasingly monopolistic society where you have a handful of very large corporations having much too much power over consumers.”

The Senate Judiciary Committee is holding a hearing on internet advertising, privacy and competition on Tuesday morning.

CNBC reports: “Facebook’s Sheryl Sandberg: Chinese tech companies are also powerful, and will not be broken up.”

DINA SRINIVASAN, dina.srinivasan at aya.yale.edu, @DinaSrinivasan
Former ad tech entrepreneur and advertising executive Srinivasan is author of a recent study in the Berkeley Business Law Journal: “The Antitrust Case Against Facebook: A Monopolist’s Journey Towards Pervasive Surveillance in Spite of Consumers’ Preference for Privacy.”

Srinivasan rebutted Facebook’s argument: “Time and again, history has shown us that competition and not state-directed industrial policy is what results in innovation and long term growth. …

“If the aim is to make the market more competitive then we need to adopt policies like we did in telecom markets that allow people to communicate across networks. Specifically, we should enable interoperability in the social network market (cross-posting between social networks) and data portability (letting users port their list of contacts to other sites). To restore competition on the variable of privacy, we should also prohibit Facebook from tracking people off of Facebook properties.”