Elizabeth Warren proposes breaking up Apple, in addition to Google, Facebook, and Amazon – Fox News

Democratic 2020 presidential hopeful Elizabeth Warren announced in an interview on Saturday that she wants to break up not only Amazon, Google, and Facebook, but also Apple — as the Massachusetts senator pushes further to the left of her numerous Democratic rivals on a host of populist issues.

Speaking to The Verge at the South by Southwest (SXSW) technology conference in Austin, Texas, Warren specifically demanded that Apple must be forced to either surrender control over the App Store, or cease selling its own apps within it.

“Apple, you’ve got to break it apart from their App Store. It’s got to be one or the other,” Warren said. “Either they run the platform or they play in the store. They don’t get to do both at the same time.”

She elaborated: “If you run a platform where others come to sell, then you don’t get to sell your own items on the platform because you have two comparative advantages. One, you’ve sucked up information about every buyer and every seller before you’ve made a decision about what you’re going to to sell. And second, you have the capacity — because you run the platform — to prefer your product over anyone else’s product. It gives an enormous comparative advantage to the platform.”

Warren asserted that similar antitrust principles were “applied to railroad companies more than a hundred years ago,” and that “we need to now look at those tech platforms the same way.”

Responding to a federal appeals court’s recent rejection of the Trump Justice Department’s bid to block the planned AT&T-Time Warner merger, Warren told The Verge: “How well do I think the Justice Department and the FTC are doing? Not well at all, and not well for a long time now.”


In a lengthy post on the website Medium on Friday, Warren targeted Amazon, Facebook, and Google for breakup, but did not mention Apple.

Warren said the large tech giants had used mergers to “limit competition,” citing examples such as Facebook’s acquisitions of Instagram and WhatsApp; Amazon using its market power to “force” smaller competitors, such as Diapers.com to sell to the company; and Google buying mapping company Waze and advertising company DoubleClick.

President Donald Trump talks to Apple Inc. CEO Tim Cook during the American Workforce Policy Advisory Board's first meeting in the State Dining Room of the White House in Washington, Wednesday, March 6, 2019. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)

President Donald Trump talks to Apple Inc. CEO Tim Cook during the American Workforce Policy Advisory Board’s first meeting in the State Dining Room of the White House in Washington, Wednesday, March 6, 2019. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)

She also mentioned that their marketplaces were used to limit competition. “Amazon crushes small companies by copying the goods they sell on the Amazon Marketplace and then selling its own branded version. Google allegedly snuffed out a competing small search engine by demoting its content on its search algorithm, and it has favored its own restaurant ratings over those of Yelp,” Warren wrote.

Warren, who specifically denied being a Socialist as recently as this weekend, proposed two ways of restoring competition to the tech sector, including passing legislation that would designate the large platforms as “platform utilities” and reversing already approved mergers, which she deemed “illegal and anti-competitive.”


Rob Atkinson, president of the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation (ITIF), a think tank for science and technology policy, sharply disagreed with Warren’s proposal.

“The Warren campaign’s call to break up big tech companies reflects a ‘big is bad, small is beautiful’ ideology run amok,” Atkinson said in a statement obtained by Fox News. “The proposal ignores the fact that many of the services big tech companies now provide free used to cost consumers money. Breaking up large Internet companies just because they are large won’t help consumers. It will hurt them by reducing convenience, reducing quality of service and innovation, and in some cases leading to the introduction of priced services.”

“Breaking up large Internet companies just because they are large won’t help consumers.”

— ITIF president Rob Atkinson


Warren herself tempered some of her rhetoric on Saturday, saying simply, “I am not” when asked if she considered herself a democratic Socialist, in the vein of New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez or Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders.

“All I can tell you is what I believe – there’s an enormous amount to be gained from markets. Markets create opportunities. … but markets have to have rules. They have to have a cop on the beat,” Warren told an energetic crowd at the Austin City Limits’ Moody Theater.

Warren’s calls for major changes in antitrust law follow her other relatively radical proposals, including her idea of taxing idle wealth. Specifically, Warren has proposed an annual 2 percent tax on every dollar of net worth above $50 million and a 3 percent tax on every dollar of net worth above $1 billion.

But because Warren would seek to tax wealth itself — as opposed to income or some other kind of transfer — without equally apportioning such a tax among the states, legal experts say it is likely unconstitutional.

Warren has also said that Native Americans should be “part of the conversation” on reparations for African-Americans — a move that threatens to bring back her own history with Native Americans.

Her fellow 2020 hopefuls Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., and former San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro have come out in favor of reparations for African Americans, but have so far not gone as far as Warren in opening the door to reparations for Native Americans.

Fox News’ Chris Ciaccia and Adam Shaw contributed to this report.

Read More

The bull market turns 10 years old – CNN

New York (CNN Business)The longest bull market in American history was dealt a scary brush with death late last year. But it survived, narrowly, and it’s now been alive for a decade.

The market upswing, born out of the ashes of the Great Recession, turned 10 years old on Saturday.
The S&P 500 has more than quadrupled from its devil’s bottom of 666 in March 2009. The Dow has spiked nearly 19,000 points, or almost 300%. And the Nasdaq has skyrocketed just under 500%.
The remarkable bull market reflects the slow-but-steady recovery in the economy, record corporate profits and ridiculously easy money from global central bankers. Extremely low interest rates and massive central bank balance sheets left investors hoping to generate decent returns with little choice but to gamble on risky stocks.
The 10th birthday of the bull market brings about an obvious question: If it’s already the oldest in history, how much longer can it last? But the adage is that bull markets and economic expansions don’t die of old age.
“Bull markets don’t have expiration dates,” said Scott Clemons, chief investment strategist at Brown Brothers Harriman. “A bull market usually comes to an end when financial excesses go to extremes, and we don’t see that anywhere right now.”
The market anniversary deserves a bit of an asterisk. That’s because the S&P 500 hasn’t closed at a record high since September. If the broad index closes in a bear market prior to hitting a new high, history will say the bull market officially ended last fall.
In other words, it would have spanned just under a decade.
It’s also worth noting that while the bull market is the longest on record, it’s not the strongest. That title goes to the 1990s bull market, which lifted the S&P by 417% at its peak, according to LPL Financial.
The market mayhem of late 2018 served as a blunt reminder: The bull market won’t last forever. In fact, the Dow and S&P 500 nearly closed last December in a bear market, defined as a 20% decline from prior highs. And the Nasdaq did officially enter a bear market as Wall Street freaked out about an imminent recession.

Easy money is still here

US stocks have raced back to life in 2019.
Recession fears have eased, thanks to progress in US-China trade talks and a sharp reversal from the Federal Reserve, which is no longer rushing to raise interest rates. Despite this week week’s selloff, the S&P 500 is less than 8% away from its all-time high.
David Kelly, chief global strategist at JPMorgan Funds, doesn’t think the bull market is near its demise.
“The bull market should continue until the economy actually goes into recession,” Kelly said. “The only thing that will keep it down is if people are truly scared about the economy.”
The stock market is once again being aided by global central bankers. Not only is the Fed on pause and considering an end to its balance sheet winddown, but the uber dovish European Central Bank is backing off plans to hike interest rates. The ECB said this week that it expects rates to remain at record lows — in negative territory — through the end of 2019.
“Interest rates are so low that stocks look attractive,” Kelly said. “It’s going to be very hard to see a sustained slump until people become really worried about the profit outlook.”

Growth decelerates sharply

Slowdown fears were brought back to the forefront this week by the latest economic numbers. China’s exports plunged 21% in February, the most severe decline in three years.
And the United States created just 20,000 jobs in February, far shy of the 160,000 that economists had predicted. It was the biggest jobs miss relative to expectations since December 2008, according to Bespoke Investment Group.
But economists argue it’s too early to get worried about a single poor month of employment gains. January’s jobs report was a blockbuster, with nonfarm payrolls surging by 304,000 jobs. And February’s poor report was likely muddied by bad weather and the lingering impact of the government shutdown.
The jobs report “was the strangest I’ve seen in some time,” Clemons said. “Clearly the government shutdown and winter weather played havoc with the figures.”
Clemons said it makes sense to wait and see whether the jobs market rebounds in March. He expects that it will.
Still, the overall economic trend isn’t pretty. The US economy grew at a robust pace of 3.4% annually in the third quarter, but GDP slowed to 2.6% in the fourth quarter.
And the Atlanta Federal Reserve’s GDPNow forecasting tool is calling for first-quarter growth of just 0.5%.
“This economy is probably just decelerating rather than stalling,” said Kelly.
If he’s wrong, the bull market might not live for 10 years after all.

Read More

U.S. Stocks Fall After Jobs Report Shows Slower Hiring – The Wall Street Journal

Major U.S. stock indexes fell Friday, putting them on pace for their worst week of the year, as swelling concerns around whether U.S. economic growth is slowing further hindered this year’s rally.

Data showing a sharp slowdown in U.S. hiring growth last month rounded out a troubling week for investors.

Questions around the fate of a trade…

Read More