Bernie Sanders says Musk’s ownership of Twitter is a ‘problem’ and calls for more aggressive anti-trust laws


Bernie Sanders called Elon Musk’s ownership of Twitter a “problem” and suggested that the US government should be more aggressive with anti-trust laws to break up big media companies.

“It’s a problem that Jeff Bezos owns the Washington Post, that Elon Musk owns Twitter, that other billionaires own much of the media in the United States,” he said on the News Agents podcast, when asked about the business owner, who bought Twitter for $44bn in October last year.

He went on to say that billionaires “want to protect their own interest, and therefore the nature of the corporate media in the United States is to avoid talking about the wealth and the power of the … billionaire class, among other things.”

“So is that a problem? Yes, it’s a serious problem,” he added.

When asked by the host if Twitter should be broken up, Mr Sanders said the US government should do more to protect against media monopolies.

“In the United States, to be honest with you, we have been very, very lax [in] what we call anti-trust efforts. So you’re seeing in sector after sector, including media, fewer and fewer people owning what we see, hear and read,” he said, adding that the US had to be “much more aggressive in breaking up monopolistic enterprises in every sphere.”

He continued: “In the United States right now, you’ve got eight media conglomerates that control what 90 per cent of the American people see, hear and read. Is that a problem? I think it is.”

Mr Sanders, the senator for Vermont and a former presidential candidate, is currently on a tour to promote his new book, titled It’s OK to be Angry About Capitalism.

Mr Sanders and Mr Musk have clashed before over the senator’s call for higher taxes for the wealthy. Mr Sanders has said that billionaires should not exist, and in 2021, at a time when Mr Musk’s taxes were under scrutiny, tweeted: “We must demand that the extremely wealthy pay their fair share. Period.”

Musk replied: “I keep forgetting that you’re still alive.”

The Tesla CEO continued tweeting at Mr Sanders, despite getting no reply. “Want me to sell more stock, Bernie? Just say the word,” he said a day later. And then again: “Ok, how much do you think is fair? Does 53% seem reasonable?”