Press Release

Open Markets Institute Applauds Sen. Warren’s Call to Break Up Amazon

Washington, D.C. – Last night Senator Elizabeth Warren called for the break up of Amazon. The corporation must “pick one business or the other,” Sen. Warren  said, in a condemnation of Amazon’s practice of competing against the companies that depend on it to get to market. “You can’t be in both” retailing and manufacturing, she said, in an interview with New York Times columnist Andrew Ross Sorkin.
The Open Markets team strongly supports Senator Warren’s call to separate the business of retailing from the business of making things. This principle has been a standard part of American economic regulation since before the American Revolution. It was recently reinforced in the Microsoft antitrust case of the late 1990s, when a Court ordered the separation of Microsoft’s operating system from products such as the browser.
The Open Markets team has long led the call to break up Amazon along vertical lines. This includes a feature article in Harper’s in 2012, a formal brief filed with the Justice Department in 2015 (as covered in this New York Times article), a major public event on “Amazon’s Book Monopoly” in January 2016, and article “Amazon’s Antitrust Paradox.”
“Amazon and other tech platforms, including Facebook and Google, are strangling America’s economy, and destroying our fundamental right to open and competitive markets,” said Barry Lynn, Executive Director of Open Markets.  “Senator Warren’s call should inspire other legislators to fight to restore traditional and healthy balances to America’s political economy.”
Barry Lynn can be reached for comment at [email protected].
Image by Eoneren via iStock.