- Leaked audio from internal Facebook meeting ostensibly showcases Zuckerberg's candid thoughts on Elizabeth Warren.
- Zuckerberg tells his staff that they're ready to "go to the mat and and you fight."
- Warren has not backed down on her calls for busting up the big tech companies.
U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren, now one of the leading Democratic presidential nominee frontrunners, is doubling down on her promise to break up the tech giants: Amazon, Google, and Facebook.
In a Medium post published earlier this year, she stated, “Today’s big tech companies have too much power — too much power over our economy, our society, and our democracy. They’ve bulldozed competition, used our private information for profit and tilted the playing field against everyone else. And in the process, they have hurt small businesses and stifled innovation.”
Warren added, “And I want to make sure that the next generation of great American tech companies can flourish. To do that, we need to stop this generation of big tech companies from throwing around their political power to shape the rules in their favor and throwing around their economic power to snuff out or buy up every potential competitor.”
Warren joins a growing chorus of politicians criticizing big-tech companies. They’re alarmed by what they consider to be monopolistic traits and want to bust them down to size. Because of their size and power, these global corporations are able to dominate their markets by either acquiring competitors or copying their features.
There are valid concerns within the field by people who actually understand the technological ecosystem. Things need to be done in order to change the tech landscape and help foster competition and growth in the most dynamic marketplace of the 21st century.
But the idea to regulate these companies by breaking them up doesn’t seem to be one of them.
It comes as no surprise, then, to hear that Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg reportedly sounds “nervous” about an Elizabeth Warren presidency. It is also no surprise that he intends to fight back against any modern trust-busting zealots.
Mark Zuckerberg’s response to Elizabeth Warren
After another attack by Warren, Zuckerberg held an all hands meeting rallying the team to fight back against her proposed plans. There was leaked audio from the internal company meeting, where Zuckerberg candidly addressed the threat of a government breakup of big tech companies:
“You have someone like Elizabeth Warren who thinks that the right answer is to break up the companies. . . if she gets elected president, then I would bet that we will have a legal challenge, and I would bet that we will win the legal challenge. And does that still suck for us?
Yeah. I mean, I don’t want to have a major lawsuit against our own government. . . But look, at the end of the day, if someone’s going to try to threaten something that existential, you go to the mat and you fight.”
Zuckerberg added that, “It’s just that breaking up these companies, whether it’s Facebook or Google or Amazon, is not actually going to solve the issues. And, you know, it doesn’t make election interference less likely. It makes it more likely because now the companies can’t coordinate and work together.”
After hearing the leaked audio, Warren responded to Zuckerberg’s comments, tweeting, “What would really ‘suck’ is if we don’t fix a corrupt system that lets giant companies like Facebook engage in illegal anticompetitive practices, stomp on consumer privacy rights, and repeatedly fumble their responsibility to protect our democracy.”
Facebook’s plans for the future
Facebook has been contending with regulators worldwide, while still maintaining a steadily growing company.
Many great companies have had to contend with trust busters. Most recently and notably was when the Department of Justice filed an antitrust case against Microsoft back in the ’90s. The government alleged that the company used its dominance of the hardware PC market to force out competing operating systems. Microsoft was never broken up.
AT&T, IBM, and Standard Oil were all corporations broken up during the early to mid 20th century. One way or another, it looks like our behemoth corporations will have to face up to the mounting pressure.
Three days after the leaked audio of the meetings inside Facebook, Zuckerberg decided to live-stream their next all-hands meeting for the world to see.
When asked about Senator Elizabeth Warren and how he’d remain impartial to the ongoing feud, Zuckerberg laughed and said he’d “Try not to antagonize her further.”