Elizabeth Warren wants to break up Apple


Elizabeth Warren chimes in on allegedly discriminatory Apple Card algorithm
Sen. Elizabeth Warren thinks the tech industry would be more competitive if some big companies were divided up.
Photo: elizabethwarren.com

Senator and presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren has proposed breaking up some of the biggest names in tech, including Apple. She says these companies have “bulldozed competition.”

She turned most of her ire on Amazon, Facebook and Google, though.

A blog post from Warren accuses these companies of “throwing around their political power to shape the rules in their favor and throwing around their economic power to snuff out or buy up every potential competitor.”

She has a radical solution: “My Administration will make big, structural changes to the tech sector to promote more competition — including breaking up Amazon, Facebook, and Google.”

Apple too

The senator’s blog post doesn’t put Apple on her hit list, but spokesperson Saloni Sharma told CNBC that Warren wants the company’s App Store to be a separate entity.

Back in 2016, Warren accused Apple of abusing its control of the App Store to hinder competition. At that time, she brought up its advantage over rivals in the streaming music business. Apple gets 30 percent of the fees paid for a Spotify subscription if the transaction goes through the App Store, for example, even though the two are direct competitors. Its share of the fees drops to 15 percent after a year.

Apple services = $$$

During its most recent financial quarter, Apple reported that its services business — including the App Store, music streaming, AppleCare and more — took in $8.4 billion, making it larger than the company’s Mac and iPad segments. It’s this portion of the company that Sen. Warren apparently wants spun off into a stand-alone enterprise.

Apple isn’t likely to welcome the senator’s threat. It has touted revenue growth in its services segment as a way to offset slowing global demand for iPhone.


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