Big Tech Should Not Be Broken Up Says Gates
Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates believes it is extremely misguided to break up Big Tech, telling Bloomberg that it would be much better to go the route of regulation with the global giants.
The comments come as the US government recently opened an antitrust review of major tech companies, including Facebook, Google, Apple, Microsoft and Amazon.
Gates recommends that regulators specifically target the violations they want to go after, instead of going for the band-aid solution of just breaking up these companies.
“If there’s a way the company is behaving that you want to get rid of, then you should just say, ‘Ok, that’s a banned behaviour,” Gates told Bloomberg.
“Splitting the company in two and having two people doing the bad thing – that doesn’t seem like a solution.”
According to Gates, as it stands now, rightly or wrongly, these companies have been “behaving totally legally”.
“Nobody knew early on that social media could serve as a platform for radicalising people or splitting them into different groups,” Gates continued.
“I don’t think we can rely solely on the tech industry to come up with solutions and that the government needs to discuss what the rules should be.”
“It’s up to society to make sure that their innovation doesn’t have negative side effects.”
Gates is no stranger to antitrust investigations, as Microsoft was caught in a battle with the US government in the early 90s for bundling Internet Explorer into Windows, which was seen at the time as the company giving its own browser an unfair advantage over competitors.
“These companies are very big, very important companies. The fact that governments are thinking about these things, that’s not a surprise,” Gates said.
“We went through our thing back in the 90s and that’s made us more thoughtful about this kind of activity.”