The United States should follow the European Union’s lead and investigate Silicon Valley tech giants monopoly-like powers, President Donald Trump says.
Speaking with CNBC, Trump said “something’s going on” when it comes to the concentrated power of today’s tech titans. By fining these companies, he says that the EU gets “all this money — we should be doing that [too.]”
The EU fined Apple and Google multibillion-dollar amounts in the past. European regulators also have been probing Facebook after the introduction of data-protection measures in the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation.
Trump’s comments tap into concern on the right about tech giants showing an anti-conservative bias. Interestingly, by focusing on the concentrated power of these companies, he’s also echoing some concerns from the left about monopolistic power in tech. Democrat presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren, for instance, has spoken about breaking up tech giants for this reason.
“I think it’s a bad situation, obviously,” Trump said. “But I think there is something going on in terms of monopoly.”
Trump sends somewhat mixed messages, however. While he suggests that tech giants are a monopoly, he describes them as “great companies.”
He also dismisses the EU’s efforts by suggesting that regulators view lawsuits against big tech as “easy money.” He claims that they view it as a chance to “sue Apple for $7 billion and make a settlement or win the case.”
During Trump’s presidency, he has had something of a mixed relationship with tech companies like Apple. On the one hand, he has publicly praised Apple CEO Tim Cook. However, he has also criticized Apple — and, potentially, undermined Cupertino by introducing new tariffs.
“We have a great attorney general, we’ll look at [these tech companies] differently,” Trump said.