Former U.S. Secretary of Labor Robert Reich is calling for the federal government to break up Facebook and other big tech companies in an op-ed in the Guardian.
Reich, who served as Labor secretary under former President Clinton, contends the major American tech companies have gotten too big for their own good and the government should use antitrust laws to break them up.
While Reich’s op-ed published Tuesday focused on Facebook, he also took aim at Google, Apple and Amazon.
“We should break up the hi-tech behemoths, or at least require they make their proprietary technology and data publicly available and share their platforms with smaller competitors,” Reich writes.
Reich blames both Republicans and Democrats for having no "appetite” for antitrust and allowing big tech giants to take over not only the economy, but the society as a whole.
“Political power can’t be separated from economic power," Reich writes. “Both are prone to abuse.”
Facebook has found itself under new scrutiny following a New York Times investigation showed the company’s efforts to wield influence in Washington after becoming aware of Russia-linked activity on its platform during the 2016 presidential campaign.
The Times article depicts Facebook executives, including CEO Mark ZuckerbergMark ZuckerbergHillicon Valley — States probe the tech giants Executives personally signed off on Facebook-Google ad collusion plot, states claim States push forward with Facebook antitrust case, reportedly probe VR unit MORE, as slow to act in combating the disinformation campaigns and unprepared for the Cambridge Analytica scandal.
Reich was equally critical in his assessment of Facebook and politicians, calling out Democrats for accepting contributions from the social network.
“Giant firms at the center of the American economy are distorting the market and our politics,” Reich concludes. “We must resurrect antitrust.”