Facebook has too much monopolistic power, and it's time to break up the social media giant, former Rep. Barney Frank said on Newsmax, echoing the growing bipartisan criticism of the company.
However, the Massachusetts Democrat told Newsmax's "National Report" that he doesn't agree with comments made by Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., who has called on Facebook to be broken apart because of its potential influence on elections in 2022 and 2024, particularly after company whistleblower Frances Haugen's recent damaging Senate subcommittee testimony about the company.
"If you're Facebook after the recent hearing, where there was a bipartisan drumbeat of criticism, I don't think they feel very politically powerful," Frank said, adding that there are few other issues that meet with such agreement from lawmakers on both sides of the aisle. "They clearly have monopoly power in the economic area, and I think competition is a good thing."
His comments come after Warren told ABC's "The View" Wednesday that she not only believes Facebook needs to be broken up, but that lawmakers can't enact control regulations, such as were sought by Haugen in her testimony, because of Facebook's lobbyists and the money and "concentrated power" the company has.
Warren was adamant: "We also have to do breaking up Facebook now, now, now, before we are facing down the 2022 and then the 2024 elections — and that the true steal comes along, and that is the minority party that has ideas that are not supported by the majority of Americans gets to hang onto power," Warren said. "That is wrong, and it will break our democracy."
Frank said he does believe there is a good antitrust case to be brought against the company, which also owns Instagram and WhatsApp.
"This has been the view for 120 years, going back to Theodore Roosevelt, well before that, given the importance of competition when an economic entity gets so big that consumers and others don't have a choice and competition ... the remedy of reducing their scope is a good one," he told Newsmax.
He also said he thinks Facebook wields "too much economic power [and] they have had a lot of power politically."
"If you look at the appointments that President [Joe] Biden made to the regulatory agencies, the Federal Trade Commission and others, and again if you look at those hearings, I think that we are now in a situation where Facebook is very much on the defensive," Frank said.
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