Joe Biden: Breaking up Facebook deserves 'really hard look'

Warren has led push for breakup of big tech

By Eric Bradner, CNN
Getty Images

Former U.S. Vice President Joe Biden speaks at a campaign rally at Teamsters Local 249 Union Hall April 29, 2019, in Pittsburgh.

Former Vice President Joe Biden said Monday in an interview with The Associated Press that breaking up Facebook is "something we should take a really hard look at."

The 2020 Democratic presidential front-runner's comment is the latest sign of growing skepticism on the left of major technology companies as they become increasingly intertwined with Americans' lives.

"I don't think we spend nearly enough time focusing on antitrust measures. And the truth of the matter is, I think it's something we should take a really hard look at," Biden told the AP.

Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren, one of Biden's competitors for the Democratic nomination, has led the push for the break-up of big tech. In March she proposed that Facebook, Google and Amazon be dismantled, with the companies forced to sell off some of their major acquisitions, like Facebook's Instagram and WhatsApp.

In an interview with The Associated Press, Biden praised Warren for her push, saying that she "has a very strong case to be made." But he also said it is "premature" to make a final judgment.

Biden's comments come the day after fellow 2020 contender Sen. Kamala Harris of California said on CNN that the United States "should seriously take a look at" dismantling Facebook.

Harris said Facebook "has experienced massive growth and has prioritized its growth over the best interests of its consumers, especially on the issue of privacy." She said there needs to be "serious regulation" and "more oversight" of Facebook.

Facebook co-founder Chris Hughes wrote in a New York Times op-ed that the company has become a monopoly and should be forced to sell off Instagram and WhatsApp -- a position that led to Democratic presidential candidates weighing in.

Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders praised Hughes' op-ed on Twitter.

"We are living in an era of monopolies that dominate every aspect of our lives -- including our government. It's time to take that power back," Sanders tweeted.

New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker has opposed Facebook's break-up, calling it "more like a Donald Trump thing" in an interview with ABC on Sunday.

"I don't think that a president should be running around pointing at companies and saying break them up without any kind of process here," Booker said. "It's not me and my own personal opinion about going after folks. That sounds more like a Donald Trump thing to say, 'I'm going to break up you guys.'"

The-CNN-Wire ™ & © 2019 Cable News Network, Inc., a Time Warner Company. All rights reserved.