Tags: Coronavirus | bill gates | microsoft | big tech | monopoly | government | vaccine

Bill Gates: 'I Was Naive' at Microsoft About Government Attention

(CNBC/"Squawk Box")

By    |   Wednesday, 14 October 2020 10:43 AM

Microsoft founder Bill Gates, looking back at the days when the government came after his company and declared its actions constituted a monopoly, says tech executives now have "lots of sophisticated advisers" at a time when government leaders are calling for further regulation on Big Tech. 

"I was naive at Microsoft and didn't realize that our success would lead to government attention," the billionaire philanthropist told CNBC's Becky Quick in an interview airing on "Squawk Box" Wednesday. "I made some mistakes, just saying, 'Hey, I never go to Washington, D.C.'"

But when companies grow to be "super valuable," affect people's means of communication and political discourse, and include a higher percentage of commerce, "you're going to expect a lot of government attention," said Gates. 

He added that it will depend on what the government comes up with about whether regulation will be good for consumers overall, and whether further rules will hinder innovation. 

"We have to get to particulars," said Gates. "You know, is there some rule about acquisition? Is there some rule about splitting parts of the companies either to create open availability of those resources? We're in unchartered territory here ... this is a new industry with different issues."

Gates also discussed the work the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has been doing in response to the coronavirus and pricing issues around medicines being developed. 

"I personally have been quite impressed that the pharmaceutical companies are doing very novel things, you know, putting their best people on this work and they're being willing to have manufacture other company's products," said Gates. 

A great deal of money for a COVID-19 vaccine is coming from the United States, but the Gates Foundation has also pledged $350 million toward the attack plan. 

"We're funding a lot of vaccine work, including second-generation vaccines that could be even more effective, could be single dose," said Gates, adding that a push is being made to make the treatments widely available at reasonable costs. 

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Microsoft founder Bill Gates, looking back at the days when the government came after his company and declared its actions constituted a monopoly, says tech executives now have "lots of sophisticated advisers" at a time when government leaders are calling for further regulation...
bill gates, microsoft, big tech, monopoly, government, vaccine, gates foundation
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2020-43-14
Wednesday, 14 October 2020 10:43 AM
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