Facebook Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg has pushed back against the idea that Facebook is too big and should be broken up, arguing that it wouldn’t fix the real issues, according to a report by CNBC.
“You could break us up, you could break other tech companies up, but you actually don’t address the underlying issues people are concerned about,” Sandberg said.
Those underlying issues, she said, include election security, privacy, data portability and content. She added that all of the engineering and product teams at the company have their own security and safety functions focused on privacy.
“We know at Facebook we have a real possibility to do better and earn back people’s trust,” Sandberg noted.
She also mentioned Chinese companies, and how they won’t be broken up at all. “While people are concerned with the size and power of tech companies, there’s also a concern in the United States with the size and power of Chinese companies, and the realization that those companies are not going to be broken up,” Sandberg said.
Facebook recently announced a pivot to privacy, and Sandberg said that although the move will affect its ad targeting business, she doesn’t expect it to have a lasting effect on the company’s revenue.
“We believe deeply that doing the right thing for people on our service is the only way to protect our long-term business, and it’s the right thing to do,” Sandberg said.
Facebook shares were lower in the early session on Friday (May 17), as markets remain focused on the trade relations between China and the U.S.
On Thursday (May 16), Sen. Bernie Sanders, a 2020 presidential candidate, voiced his support in breaking up Facebook, something fellow candidate Sen. Elizabeth Warren has called for as well.
Sanders shared his thoughts with Politico, and when asked if he supports Warren’s proposal for antitrust actions against Facebook, he responded, “The answer is yes, of course.”
“We have a monopolistic – an increasingly monopolistic society, where you have a handful of very large corporations having much too much power over consumers,” Sanders said.