- Title: Zuckerberg says Warren as U.S. president would 'suck' for tech
- Date: 1st October 2019
- Summary: WASHINGTON, D.C., UNITED STATES (SEPTEMBER 20, 2019) (REUTERS) FACEBOOK CHIEF EXECUTIVE MARK ZUCKERBERG WALKING THROUGH CAPITOL HILL CORRIDOR / ZUCKERBERG ENTERING U.S. HOUSE JUDICIARY COMMITTEE CHAIRMAN JERROLD NADLER (D-NY)'S OFFICE
- Embargoed: 15th October 2019 20:34
- Keywords: Zuckerberg Break Up Big Tech Facebook Zuckerberg audio Silicon Valley companies Mark Zuckerberg Elizabeth Warren tech companies Facebook meeting
- Location: WASHINGTON, D.C.; SAN JOSE; MENLO PARK, CALIFORNIA, UNITED STATES
- City: WASHINGTON, D.C.; SAN JOSE; MENLO PARK, CALIFORNIA, UNITED STATES
- Country: USA
- Topics: Company News Markets,Economic Events
- Reuters ID: LVA003AZ9PD8N
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: Facebook Inc Chief Executive Officer Mark Zuckerberg told employees in July that the company would "go to the mat" to defeat Democratic candidate Elizabeth Warren's expected effort to break up the world's largest social media company if she were elected president, according to audio of two internal company meetings published by The Verge.
"If she (Warren) 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," he said, according to the leaked audio.
Warren, who in March called for breaking up Amazon.com Inc, Facebook Inc and Alphabet Inc, quickly issued a report on Twitter.
"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," Warren tweeted.
In the audio, Zuckerberg said breaking up big tech companies would make election interference "more likely because now the companies can't coordinate and work together."
Zuckerberg also drew laughter by saying Facebook's investment on safety is bigger than Twitter's entire revenue.
Zuckerberg issued a statement on his Facebook page, linking to The Verge's transcript, though he said it was meant to be internal.
"You can check it out if you're interested in seeing an unfiltered version of what I'm thinking and telling employees" he wrote in the post.
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has an open antitrust investigation into Facebook, and a group of state attorneys general led by New York is also investigating.
Other Democratic presidential candidates have also criticized Facebook. Senator Bernie Sanders said he would look to split up Facebook, Google and Amazon, while Senator Kamala Harris said a break-up should "seriously" be considered.
Senator Amy Klobuchar, one of the lawmakers who introduced the Honest Ads Act that would force Facebook to disclose purchasers of ads on the platform, announced her campaign with a speech that criticized major tech companies.
Another senior Facebook executive told Reuters this month the company is confident it would defeat an effort to break it up.
With more than 2 billion monthly users, Facebook been under scrutiny from regulators around the world over data sharing practices. It has also come under fire for failing to prevent Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential election.
U.S. President Donald Trump and other Republicans have criticized social media platforms for alleged bias against conservatives, which the platforms have denied.
(Production: Nathan Frandino)
- Copyright Holder: REUTERS
- Copyright Notice: (c) Copyright Thomson Reuters 2019. Open For Restrictions - http://about.reuters.com/fulllegal.asp
- Usage Terms/Restrictions: None