Zuckerberg rejects calls to break up Facebook

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Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg on Thursday dismissed calls for the company to be broken up over competition concerns, disputing claims the firm has grown too dominant.

During a call with reporters, Zuckerberg was pressed to address recent calls from Democratic officials and one Facebook co-founder for federal regulators to force the company to spin off WhatsApp and Instagram, previously acquired in two blockbuster deals.

“I think it kind of almost goes without saying that we exist in a very competitive and dynamic environment where new services are constantly coming up,” Zuckerberg said.

He later disputed arguments that the company has grown too dominant as an advertising player as “a little stretched,” noting the company controls just around a fifth of the global digital ad market.

The Facebook chief, whose company has come under heavy scrutiny on issues from election security to harmful content to data privacy, argued a break-up would only make it more difficult to address those challenges.

“I don’t really think that the remedy of breaking up the company is going to address those,” he said. “I actually think it’s going to make it a lot harder.”

During a wide-ranging Q&A, Zuckerberg was also asked about the White House’s invitation for Americans to report political bias by social media companies. He declined to directly address the tipline, instead highlighting the company’s commitment to impartiality.

“This is certainly an issue that we take seriously,” he said. “I personally deeply care about freedom of expression for all people.”

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