Microsoft co-founder and former CEO Bill Gates told CNBC Wednesday morning, October 14, he had been naive about the government scrutiny that comes with getting large when he was running Microsoft.
“Whenever you get to be a super valuable company, affecting the way people communicate and even political discourse being mediated through your system and higher percentage of commerce through your system, you’re going to expect a lot of government attention,” Gates said in the “Squawk Box” interview.
Last week, the House Judiciary subcommittee on antitrust released a report concluding that Amazon, Apple, Facebook, and Google hold monopoly power.
“I was naive at Microsoft and didn’t realize that our success would lead to government attention,” Gates said, referring to Microsoft’s antitrust challenges from over 20 years ago. “And so I made some mistakes , you know, just saying, ‘Hey, I never go to Washington, DC’ And now I don’t think, you know, that naivete is there.”
Gates stepped down as Microsoft CEO in the middle of the US Justice Department’s antitrust case, which charged the company had tried to monopolize the web browser market when it bundled Internet Explorer with Windows. The company settled with the DOJ in 2001.