IT Pro is supported by its audience. When you purchase through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more

Steve Ballmer would "bet money" that big tech won't be broken up

Former Microsoft CEO says the latest calls from Congress will not lead to any major changes

Steve Ballmer who was the Microsoft CEO from 2000 to 2014

Former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer has suggested that any regulatory reforms from Congress will not result in the breakup of big American tech firms. 

Ballmer went as far as to say he'd "bet money that they will not be broken up," according to CNBC.

His comments come in response to Tuesday's congressional report that called for regulatory changes to be introduced in order to 'rein in' the market power of Google, Facebook, Amazon and Apple, which have each been accused of creating monopolies that hamper competition. 

Ballmer, who was Microsoft CEO from 2000 to 2014, has plenty of experience with anti-competition cases having led the tech giant through a lawsuit in the early noughties. However, he isn't convinced the latest calls from Congress will lead to any major changes.  

"I don't think the case of Apple is the same as Google is the same as Amazon," Ballmer told CNBC's Squawk Box. "In a sense putting them all together makes good theater but it doesn't necessarily mean good policy." 

"I would certainly recommend to all these tech companies to engage on the issues now, to engage with the regulators now. I do not think they can just take unilateral action and expect it to satisfy whatever it is some regulator or congressman will decide they should have done. The key is to engage."

Part of the problem, according to Ballmer, is that these companies are too different and what they are being accused of will not fit neatly into one overarching piece of legislation.

Although all are accused of using their size and market dominance to squash competition, it's done so in varied ways. For instance Apple has been accused of forcing third-parties into its App store with heavy fees and rules that can result in exclusion if not adhered to. That's different from the accusations about Google's search and advertising practices.  

"As I read the concerns - just me as a non-antitrust lawyer reader - I don't even think this notion of breaking them up answers most of the questions that people are raising, or many of the complaints they're raising," Ballmer added. 

Featured Resources

Big data for finance

How to leverage big data analytics and AI in the finance sector

Free Download

Ten critical factors for cloud analytics success

Cloud-native, intelligent, and automated data management strategies to accelerate time to value and ROI

Free Download

Remove barriers and reconnect with your customers

The $260 billion dollar friction problem businesses don't know they have

Free Download

The future of work is already here. Now’s the time to secure it.

Robust security to protect and enable your business

Free Download

Most Popular

Why collaboration is key to digital transformation
Sponsored

Why collaboration is key to digital transformation

13 Sep 2022
Anonymous hacks Iranian government and state broadcasters
cyber attacks

Anonymous hacks Iranian government and state broadcasters

22 Sep 2022
What your hybrid workforce needs from their laptops
Advertisement Feature

What your hybrid workforce needs from their laptops

21 Sep 2022