Speaking at Recode’s Code Conference in Palos Verdes, California, Microsoft President Brad Smith drew lessons from the software giant’s “gut wrenching” antitrust battles of the late 1990s that seem to resonate today, as Facebook faces scrutiny of its data privacy practices by regulators in the US and Europe.
“If you create technology that changes the world, the world is going to want to govern you, it’s going to want in some measure to regulate you,” Smith said on Wednesday, May 30, in the opening day of the Code Conference on Rancho Palos Verdes. “You have to come to terms with that.”
Microsoft was cast as a monopolist for its command of the software operating 90% of the world’s computer desktops in 1998, when antitrust regulators accused it of anticompetitive practices in its bundling of the Internet Explorer browser as part of its operating system, placing the rival Netscape browser at a disadvantage.
Now Microsoft finds itself at odds with the government again, though this time it’s over immigration policy. The software giant has joined many tech executives speaking out against President Donald Trump’s efforts to change immigration.
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