Elizabeth Warren is the latest politician to become a card-carrying member of the “hipster antitrust” movement by proposing to break up big technology companies. Subscribers to the hipster antitrust philosophy believe that large companies harm society simply by virtue of their bigness, abandoning the core tenant of modern antitrust law that prioritizes consumer welfare in shaping competition policy. Others have aptly explained why such proposals would be a bad idea with serious unintended consequences. However, hipster antitrust policies could have particularly damaging effects on the development of artificial intelligence (AI) in the United States. Warren’s proposal comes during a time when policymakers on both sides of the aisle are vocally stressing the importance of U.S. competitiveness in AI, making it important for policymakers to recognize that these goals are at odds.

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