A leaked recording from an internal Facebook meeting revealed that Mark Zuckerberg, the tech giant’s CEO, is prepared to go to war with the United States government in the event that it attempts to break up his massive empire on antitrust grounds.
According to The Verge, which first published the leaked audio, Zuckerberg said the following:
“So there might be a political movement where people are angry at the tech companies or are worried about concentration or worried about different issues and worried that they’re not being handled well. That doesn’t mean that, even if there’s anger and that you have someone like Elizabeth Warren who thinks that the right answer is to break up the companies … I mean, 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. I mean, that’s not the position that you want to be in when you’re, you know, I mean … it’s like, we care about our country and want to work with our government and do good things. 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.”
Warren has discussed breaking up Big Tech on the campaign trail. As it stands today, she is in polling towards the top of the Democratic Presidential primary field, behind former vice president Joe Biden and Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT).
But Warren is not the only person threatening Big Tech on antitrust grounds. Fifty attorneys general have teamed up to launch an antitrust investigation into the Silicon Valley titans, including other companies like Google, Amazon, and Twitter. They suspect that the companies have fostered anti-competitive behavior by purchasing startups that could potentially turn into competitors. Attorney General Bill Barr has also insisted that the Department of Justice (DOJ) move forward with an antitrust investigation into Facebook.
Zuckerberg noted that other large tech companies – his allies in Silicon Valley – would be affected by a Warren-esque trust busting plan. He also discussed how the tech giants are working together to prevent “election interference,” which has been previously reported upon and is a dubious prospect for multiple reasons, not the least of which being that companies like Facebook are being setup to control the flow of information to the American people during the 2020 election cycle. (RELATED: Disturbing Details About Facebook’s Orwellian “News Tab” Emerge)
“And I just think the case is not particularly strong on this … 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,” he said. “It makes it more likely because now the companies can’t coordinate and work together. It doesn’t make any of the hate speech or issues like that less likely. It makes it more likely because now … all the processes that we’re putting in place and investing in, now we’re more fragmented.”
He also dunked on Twitter for being poorer than Facebook, which is ancillary to this story, but hilarious.
“It’s why Twitter can’t do as good of a job as we can. I mean, they face, qualitatively, the same types of issues. But they can’t put in the investment. Our investment on safety is bigger than the whole revenue of their company. [laughter] And yeah, we’re operating on a bigger scale, but it’s not like they face qualitatively different questions. They have all the same types of issues that we do.”