Microsoft co-founder and former CEO Bill Gates said in an interview on Wednesday local time that he was too naive when running Microsoft and did not realize that success would provoke antitrust scrutiny. He also said that the possibility of implementing antitrust supervision of large technology companies is “quite high.”
Gates said: “When you become a company with a high market value, it will affect the way people communicate, and even affect politics. It’s no surprise that regulators pay more attention to this.” Last week, The US House of Representatives Antitrust Subcommittee issued a report and concluded that Amazon, Apple, Facebook and Google all have monopoly power.
Gates mentioned the antitrust lawsuit that Microsoft faced more than 20 years ago: “I was too naive when I was at Microsoft. I didn’t realize that our success would attract the attention of the government. So I made many mistakes. For example, I have never been to Washington. Special District. But now, there may no longer be a naive person like me.”
Gates resigned as the CEO of Microsoft in an antitrust lawsuit filed by the US Department of Justice. Microsoft was accused of binding IE and Windows to try to monopolize the web browser market. The company reached a settlement with the US Department of Justice in 2001.
Gates’ successor at the time, Steve Ballmer, also suggested not long ago that large technology companies should go to Washington and actively engage with regulators, but he also said that he “bet” Congress will not split them. . When talking about the possibility of future regulation, Gates said: “The rules will change. But I want to say that the possibility of action by the regulator is quite high.”
Anti-competitive “killer acquisitions” are one of the concerns of the US House of Representatives Antitrust Subcommittee. The report investigated whether Facebook acquired Instagram in order to stifle competitors. Splitting up such acquisitions may be the focus of future supervision. Gates said: “This is still uncharted territory.”