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Apple Co-Founder Steve Wozniak Suggests Company Has Gotten Too Big: Gov’t ‘Should Consider’ Break Up

Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak recently sat for a wide-ranging interview, during which he suggested that the company he helped build is reaching monopoly status, and should possibly be broken up.

In a conversation with Business Insider’s Sabrina Hoffmann at a tech conference in Vienna, Wozniak faced questions about cybersecurity, online privacy, and Apple’s impact and business dealings around the world. At one point, the tech titan informally known as Woz expressed a view that companies like Apple, Facebook and Google have too much socio-economic power and might need to be split.

From the interview:

Hoffmann: So monopolists like Apple, Google, Facebook, and Amazon should be split up?

Wozniak: Yes, in some cases you should consider this. Or maybe not quite as far as splitting up. Splitting up goes back to the AT&T phone company in our country. But you could take a company like Facebook and say: “You’ll have to make it easy for people to move to a competitive website that does similar things.” You have to give somebody the ability to exit with a list of all their friends and every one of them should get a notification that, if you want to go there, they’ll all be friends there. Make it an equal competition. So you have to compete based on the quality of the product and not based on the fact that you’ve got someone trapped.

In terms of what kind of policies should be used to break up these companies, Wozniak recommended against antitrust laws because they are “rarely put into play and rarely executed.”

“It’s very hard,” Woz said. “Once you have the monopoly, you start to exclude others from the market that could be competitive.”

[Image via screengrab]

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