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'A billionaire, right?': Warren laughs off Howard Schultz's criticism of her plan to break up big tech

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Image: Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., speaks during a campaign event in Qu
Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., speaks during a campaign event in Queens, New York, on March 8, 2019. -
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Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., laughed off criticism from billionaire businessman Howard Schultz on her new plan to break up big tech.

The 2020 presidential candidate on Friday called for the federal government to break up Facebook, Google and Amazon, offering up a proposal that would recategorize the companies as "platform utilities" and reverse some major tech acquisitions.

Under the plan, companies with more than $25 billion in global revenue that also act as "an online marketplace, an exchange, or a platform for connecting third parties" would be classified as "platform utilities" that would no longer be able to own a platform and its participants.

Schultz, a former Starbucks CEO who has said he might run for president in 2020 as an independent candidate, called the proposal "inconsistent with our free-enterprise system" and "emblematic of Democrats proposing ... fantasy ideas that will never be implemented."

"A billionaire, right?" Warren said with a laugh, referring to Schultz, when asked in an interview for CBS News' "Face the Nation" about his criticism.

"You mean we could ask these multibillion-dollar companies nicely if they would not eat up the competition and just behave better in the marketplace," Warren said, speaking with CBS at the South by Southwest conference in Austin, Texas. "Really? We've had laws around against antitrust activity and predatory pricing for over a hundred years because we understand that the way markets work are when there's real competition in that market."