Leaked audio from two July meetings at Facebook show that CEO Mark Zuckerberg was ready for the possibility that Elizabeth Warren could become president and the company would subsequently be facing an antitrust fight, one that would potentially try to break it up.
CNBC is reporting that Zuckerberg said he would fight back. He spoke about the challenges facing the company in a Q and A session with employees, away from the glare of cameras or congressional hearings.
The meetings occurred after Facebook settled with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) over privacy issues for $5 billion. The deal included allowing the company to not face liability for its top executives, and the company’s shares eventually went up.
Zuckerberg acknowledging the leaks in a Facebook post, saying that even though he didn’t mean for the session to reach an audience besides his employees, “now that it's out there,” people can see “an unfiltered version of what I’m thinking and telling employees on a bunch of topics like social responsibility, breaking up tech companies, Libra, neural computing interfaces, and doing the right thing over the long term.”
In those meetings with employees, he touched heavily on the Warren issue, saying that if she becomes president, “then I would bet that we will have a legal challenge, and I would bet that we will win the legal challenge.” He was referring to Warren’s campaign call to break up Big Tech.
“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 said.
Waren tweeted out a response on Tuesday (Oct. 1) morning, saying the country should 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.”