Elizabeth Warren responds to Zuckerberg's plan to sue govt if it goes ahead with Facebook breakup

In the recently leaked audio files, Zuckberger addresses the ‘existential threat’ if Warren becomes president.

In March this year, US Senator Elizabeth Warren, who is also contesting for the 2020 Presidential elections, proposed a plan to break up big tech companies such as Google, Facebook, Apple and Amazon to prevent monopolies.

Months later, The Verge has leaked some audio files from two of Facebook's internal meetings where company chief Mark Zuckerberg is addressing the employees on various things, from its competition with TikTok, it's future plans after acquiring CTRL-Lab to Libra cryptocurrency. In this leaked audio file, Zuckerberg also addresses the ‘existential threat’ if Warren becomes the US president.

Elizabeth Warren responds to Zuckerbergs plan to sue govt if it goes ahead with Facebook breakup

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg. Image: Reuters

Zuckerberg says that Facebook would sue Elizabeth Warren's antitrust plan if she gets elected as president next year. He says:

"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. Does that still suck for us? Yeah. I mean, I don’t want to have a major lawsuit against our own government. That’s not like the position you want to be in. We care about our country and want to work with our government to 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.”

Hours after The Verge shared these audio files, Warren shared a long thread of tweets, where she once against criticised Facebook for having grown so big.

She said that Zuckerberg has himself said that Facebook is “more like a government than a traditional company.” Warren says that using "our private information for profit", Facebook has tilted the playing field against everyone else.

Responding to Zuckerberg's statement in the audio clips, she said, “What would really ‘suck,’ is if we don’t fix a corrupt system that lets giant companies like Facebook engage in illegal anti-competitive practices, stomp on consumer privacy rights, and repeatedly fumble their responsibility to protect our democracy.”

She says that she plans to break up companies like Facebook to "undo their illegal, anticompetitive mergers." She also pointed out that breaking up these companies does not mean that you will not be able to access platforms like Facebook and Instagram, but that "they'll have to compete with each other to make a better product for you."

Soon after Warren's tweet thread, Zuckerberg also responded to the episode in a Facebook post, where he also embedded the entire audio file for people to listen.

In her proposal, Warren advances two ways to take forward the breaking up process:

  1. Companies with an annual global turnover of $25 billion or more will be designated as 'Platform Utilities' and will be prevented from being a participating seller on these platforms. Amazon Marketplace, Google’s ad exchange, and Google Search would be platform utilities under this law.
  2. Warren's administration would appoint regulators to ensure that illegal and anti-competitive tech mergers are reversed.

The idea behind this move, according to Warren, is that small businesses should not be gobbled up by Big Tech. For instance, if there is a small business selling its wares on Amazon and doing great business, there is a high chance that Amazon will either try to buy this seller or have a similar product on its marketplace, which Amazon could promote over the small business. Warren wants that to not be a concern for small business owners.

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