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Beto O’Rourke rejects Elizabeth Warren’s plan to break up Amazon

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ALEXANDRIA, Virginia — Democratic presidential candidate Beto O’Rourke disagreed with proposals to break up Amazon, suggesting it is not the proper route to pursue “to ensure dynamism in our economy.”

O’Rourke said there are better ways to address corporate concentration, breaking away from a proposal by fellow Democratic presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren, who wants to dismantle many of the large technology companies, specifically Amazon.

Read more:Beto O’Rourke is running for president in 2020. Here’s everything we know about the candidate and how he stacks up against the competition.

“I think we need to do more to ensure dynamism in our economy and address corporate concentration,” O’Rourke told INSIDER at a campaign event on Wednesday. “I don’t know that breaking up Amazon is the way to do that.”

“But I’m grateful for people who are talking about different ways to ensure that at a time of historic corporate concentration and vast disparity in wealth and income, that we look for ways to ensure that everybody can participate in the economy,” he added. “That we try to encourage small business development and growth, which is suffering as a result of corporate concentration.”

O’Rourke also said the Federal Trade Commission should place more intense scrutiny on smaller corporations that he characterized as being able to fly under the radar.

“I think there needs to be further reviews of mergers and acquisitions not just at the highest levels, but sometimes at some of the lower levels that sort of escape the attention or the radar of the FTC,” he said. “But yeah, I don’t know about breaking up Amazon.”

Warren made the proposal to break up Amazon in March, which included separating Jeff Bezos’ e-commerce empire from the recently acquired grocery store chain, Whole Foods.

But experts have questioned whether such a broad proposal, which included breaking Facebook off from WhatsApp and more, would even be feasible.

“If Congress changes the antitrust laws, perhaps it could [happen], but that is a remote possibility and unlikely to be a high priority for either the House or Senate,” said Michael Pachter, the Managing Director of Equity Research at Wedbush Securities. “[It’s] about as likely as is Mexico paying for Trump’s wall.”

Still, Amazon has remained a foe of many top politicians, including others in the 2020 Democratic field like Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, who has repeatedly criticized their working conditions.

And Amazon, particularly Bezos, have been a frequent target of President Donald Trump.

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