During a lengthy telephone interview with CNBC that covered topics such as trade tariffs, 5G and relations with China, President Donald Trump said tech giants like Facebook, Google and Amazon are “colluding” with Democrats.
Asked by Squawk Box host Joe Kernen for his view on whether tech companies should be broken up, he began on a personal note.
“Well, I can tell you they discriminate against me,” Trump said. “People talk about collusion. The real collusion’s between the Democrats and these companies. They were so against me during my election run. Everyone said, ‘If you don’t have ’em, you can’t win.’ Well, I won, you know, and I’ll win again.”
When Trump quickly moved on to another topic, Kernen brought the conversation back to Big Tech, asking the president if he felt antitrust laws should be updated to reflect the current marketplace realities. A Congressional committee is holding hearings about the business practices of tech firms, and the Department of Justice and Federal Trade Commission are reportedly set to launch probes into Amazon and Google.
“There’s something going on, Joe,” Trump said. “They’re great companies, but there’s something going on.”
Trump pointed to numerous enforcement actions by regulators in the European Union. The large tech companies have been fined billions of dollars in those actions. As Trump described it, the EU “is suing them all the time.” The U.S., by contrast, is “going to maybe look at it differently. We have a great attorney general. We’re going to look at it differently.”
Complaining that U.S.-based companies are sending billions in fines to Europe, he then appeared to reverse himself as to the idea of filing suit. “We should be doing what they’re doing,” Trump said. “They think there’s a monopoly. I’m not sure that they think that — they just think this is easy money. There is something going on in terms of monopoly.”