INTERNATIONAL and national regulators should consider breaking up tech giants like Google, Facebook and Amazon to end their effective monopolies over some of the world's most lucrative markets, according to Sir Vince Cable.

In a speech in London, the Liberal Democrat leader will say there is a case for forcing Facebook to give up its Instagram and WhatsApp companies, splitting Amazon into three separate companies and divesting Google of its YouTube video-sharing service.

But he will say the European Commission is probably the only organisation in the world with the clout to "tame the tech titans" in this way, by making it a condition of them operating in the EU.

And he will warn the UK will be too weak to take action of this kind on its own after Brexit.

Sir Vince will compare the tech giants to the big oil firms of the last century, which delivered spectacular riches for their owners by cornering the market in the era's key product.

"Data is the new oil," he will say.

"Data is the raw material which drives these firms and it is control of data which gives them an advantage over competitors.

"Just as Standard Oil once cornered 85% of the refined oil market, today Google drives 89% of internet search, 95% of young adults on the internet use a Facebook product, Amazon accounts for 75% of E-book sales, while Google and Apple combined provide 99% of mobile operating systems."

National governments and supranational bodies like the EU should be ready to break up enterprises whose size is detrimental to the economic well-being of their citizens, he will say.

"There is a case for splitting Amazon into three separate businesses - one offering cloud computing, one acting as a general retailer and one offering a third-party marketplace," the Lib Dem leader will argue.

"Other examples would be Facebook being forced to divest itself of Instagram and WhatsApp as a condition for operating in the EU, creating two new social media networks. Divesting Google of YouTube would be another."

But he will warn: "What is striking that the most effective competition authority in the capitalist world - the European Commission - is probably the only body with the clout to take these decisions.

"The UK could quite obviously never do it alone.

"Britain commits an act of serious self-harm by doggedly setting itself apart from the power of shared sovereignty with our neighbours."