President Trump said while speaking with CNBC’s “Squawk Box” on Monday that tech companies such as Facebook, Google, and Amazon “discriminate against” him.
“People talk about collusion, I can tell you that the real collusion is between the democrats and these companies, because they were so against me during my election run,” he said to the network when asked about the ongoing antitrust concerns surrounding these companies. “Everybody said if you don’t have them, you can’t win. Well I won, and I’ll win again.”
The comments come after executives from Google, Facebook, and Twitter testified before Congress last year to address allegations of bias on their platforms, among other topics. Google CEO Sundar Pichai denied such allegations when appearing before Congress in December, saying that the company’s only mission is to provide “accurate, trusted information.” Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey said when testifying in September that his company “strongly believes in being impartial” and that it strives “to enforce our rules impartially.” Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has also denied such allegations of intentional bias, saying last April that the goal of his company is to “be a platform for all ideas.”
President Trump later added that “obviously, there is something going on in terms of monopoly,” when asked again whether there’s an antitrust issue with tech firms with large market sizes, like Facebook and Google.
Companies such as Facebook, Google, Apple, and Amazon have come under scrutiny in recent months over their size and the amount of power they hold within their respective industries. Democratic senator and 2020 presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren proposed a plan in March that would subject large tech firms like Facebook, Amazon, and Google to regulation.
Under such a plan, certain large tech firms would have to roll back some acquisitions and would be prohibited from competing in the same marketplaces that they operate. That would mean breaking Facebook away from WhatsApp and Instagram, and Amazon away from Whole Foods.
The European Union in particular has cracked down on large American tech firms in recent years. In March, the EU fined Google $1.7 billion over its online advertising practices, accusing the search giant of abusing its market dominance. It’s also preparing to probe Apple after music streaming app Spotify filed a complaint with the EU over Apple’s App Store practices, according to the Financial Times.
President Trump also touched on the EU’s regulation of tech companies, potentially suggesting that the United States should be enforcing some type of regulation. He didn’t provide any details on how or what that would entail, however.
“Every week you see [the EU] going after Facebook and Apple and all of these companies, that are, you know, great companies but something is going on,” he said. “But I will say the European Union is suing them all the time. We are going to be looking at them differently … They get all this money. We should be doing that — they’re our companies, so they’re actually attacking our companies. But we should be doing what they’re doing.”