Joe Biden Open to Breaking Up Facebook, Other Tech Giants

Former Vice President Joe Biden, who's the leader among the 2020 Democratic presidential candidates, said Monday he was open to the idea of breaking up social media giant Facebook. Biden made the comments Monday to The Associated Press, not long after other Democratic candidates had pushed for breaking up Facebook, Google, Amazon and other tech giants.

When asked about it Monday, Biden said it's something "we should take a really hard look at."

"I don't think we spend nearly enough time focusing on antitrust measures," Biden told the AP. "And the truth of the matter is, I think it's something we should take a really hard look at."

Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, another Democratic contender, was the first to call for breaking up the tech behemoths. And although Biden didn't all-out say that companies like Facebook should be broken apart, he praised Warren's aggressive tactic, saying she "has a very strong case to be made."

Biden said President Donald Trump's administration had not worked hard enough to police antitrust laws through various industries across the spectrum.

Facebook has been in the crosshairs of several Democratic candidates, with many of them saying the social media platform had gone "unchecked" and allowed "false information" to infiltrate social feeds.

Another candidate, Senator Kamala Harris of California, said Facebook, which is headquartered in her state's Silicon Valley, was more like a public utility that needed to be overhauled.

Biden's comments followed those made last week by Facebook co-founder Chris Hughes, who said that Facebook had gotten too big, and that it needed to be broken apart to "guarantee other, new companies" a chance to compete.

"We also need basic privacy protections and the ability to move their data around as they please," Hughes wrote in a New York Times op-ed.

Facebook responded in The Times, saying what mattered was not the size of the company but "the rights and interests of consumers, and our accountability to the governments and legislators who oversee commerce and communications," Facebook VP Nick Clegg wrote.

Clegg also wrote that Facebook acknowledged a plethora of competition trying to nip at the company's heels.

"In photo and video-sharing, we compete against services like YouTube, Snapchat, Twitter, Pinterest and TikTok, an emerging competitor," Clegg wrote. "In this competitive environment, it is hard to sustain the claim that Facebook is a monopoly. Almost all of our revenue comes from digital advertising, and most estimates say Facebook's share is about 20 percent of the United States online ad market, which means 80 percent of all digital ads happen off our platforms."