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Sen. Mark Warner. Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

One of Facebook’s loudest Capitol Hill critics, Sen. Mark Warner (D-Va.), isn’t ready to sign on to calls for breaking up the social networking giant and other large internet companies.

The bottom line: It’s growing more common among the industry’s critics on the left to call for the breakup of Big Tech — not unlike how AT&T was handled decades ago — but that's still far from a mainstream prescription among policymakers.

What they’re saying:

  • The most important antritrust question with regard to Facebook is whether it's possible for newcomers to enter the market, Warner said after an Axios event.
  • "If I think about the folks I know from the venture business, new companies coming in who’ve got a killer app, their option generally is not to go public at this point, but is to sell to Google or Facebook or one of the larger enterprises,” he said. “I think this is worthy of some debate.”
  • “If you think about it, and move into machine learning and artificial intelligence, they have already got so much aggregate data, how can somebody else who’s a [new company] come in and ever get to their mass?”
  • More broadly, he said he was “reserving judgment” on how best to deal with increased concentration in tech, “other than there ought to be a fulsome debate.”

Yes, but: Warner said that he’s worried that regulations on American tech companies might simply clear a path for their Chinese counterparts to dominate markets. “That’s why I’d rather put my emphasis on, are there guardrails here that will allow them and their competitors to move forward but also give users some safety,” he said.

Warner’s comments come after the launch of a campaign encouraging the Federal Trade Commission to split Instagram, Messenger and WhatsApp off from Facebook proper. Lawmakers questioning Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg in the European Union also raised that prospect, and Google and Amazon have also been the target of calls for antitrust action.

Go deeper

Dan Primack, author of Pro Rata
2 hours ago - Technology

TikTok gets more time (again)

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

The White House is again giving TikTok's Chinese parent company more to satisfy national security concerns, rather than initiating legal action, a source familiar with the situation tells Axios.

The state of play: China's ByteDance had until Friday to resolve issues raised by the Committee on Foreign Investment in the U.S. (CFIUS), which is chaired by Treasury secretary Steve Mnuchin. This was the company's third deadline, with CFIUS having provided two earlier extensions.

Federal judge orders Trump administration to restore DACA

DACA recipients and their supporters rally outside the U.S. Supreme Court on June 18. Photo: Drew Angerer via Getty

A federal judge on Friday ordered the Trump administration to fully restore the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, giving undocumented immigrants who arrived in the U.S. as children a chance to petition for protection from deportation.

Why it matters: DACA was implemented under former President Obama, but President Trump has sought to undo the program since taking office. Friday’s ruling will require Department of Homeland Security officers to begin accepting applications starting Monday and guarantee that work permits are valid for two years.

Updated 4 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Politics: Fauci says he accepted Biden's offer to be chief medical adviser "on the spot" — The recovery needs rocket fuel.
  2. Health: CDC: It's time for "universal face mask use" — Death rates rising across the country — Study: Increased testing can reduce transmission.
  3. Economy: U.S. economy adds 245,000 jobs in November as recovery slows — America's hidden depression: K-shaped recovery threatens Biden administration.
  4. Cities: Bay Area counties to enact stay-at-home order ahead of state mandate
  5. Vaccine: What vaccine trials still need to do.
  6. World: UN warns "2021 is literally going to be catastrophic"
  7. 🎧 Podcast: Former FDA chief Rob Califf on the vaccine approval process.