20 years after Microsoft’s antitrust fight, Steve Ballmer betting that Big Tech won’t be broken up

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Steve Ballmer at the GeekWire Summit 2019 (GeekWire Photo / Dan DeLong)

Twenty years after Microsoft waged its own antitrust battle with the U.S. government, former CEO Steve Ballmer is betting that Congress won’t break up Big Tech this time around.

In an interview with CNBC on Wednesday (below), Ballmer was reacting to a U.S. House antitrust subcommittee report released this week that found challenges presented by the dominance and business practices of Amazon, Apple, Facebook and Google.

RELATED: House antitrust probe says Amazon has ‘monopoly power’ over sellers, company slams ‘fringe’ findings

“I’ll bet money that they will not be broken up,” Ballmer told CNBC.

The 450-page report from the subcommittee’s Democratic leaders concludes a 16-month investigation into the four companies as the operators of major online markets. It finds that the market power of the tech giants “has diminished consumer choice, eroded innovation and entrepreneurship in the U.S. economy, weakened the vibrancy of the free and diverse press, and undermined Americans’ privacy.”

Ballmer said he doesn’t think the notion of breaking up the companies answers most of the questions or complaints that are being raised against the companies. And he thinks Facebook, Google, Amazon and Apple would do well to engage with regulators now rather than take unilateral action that they hope satisfies those calling the shots.

“If I’m in these guys’ shoes, I say, ‘Come on, let’s get down there and let’s regulate me and let’s get it over with so I know what I can do,’” Ballmer told CNBC.

Ballmer is currently the billionaire owner of the Los Angeles Clippers NBA franchise and founder of the Bellevue, Wash.-based nonpartisan, not-for-profit civic data initiative USAFacts.

Ballmer also discussed USAFacts’ launch of a $10 million ad campaign, to air during the nationally televised presidential debates, aimed at illustrating

Steve and Alex From Minecraft Block Off Some Time to Join the Cast of Super Smash Bros. Ultimate

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The Minecraft Mainstays Are the Second DLC Fighters Added to Fighters Pass Vol. 2

On Oct. 13, worldwide phenomenon Minecraft is sending two of its finest rectangular heroes to join the ever-expanding cast of playable fighters in the Super Smash Bros. Ultimate game for the Nintendo Switch system. Steve and Alex, who both proudly sport more right angles than a high school geometry class, will be the seventh DLC fighters added to the game. They are part of the second Challenger Pack in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate Fighters Pass Vol. 2, which also includes a new stage and seven music tracks from the Minecraft series.

This press release features multimedia. View the full release here: https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20201003005002/en/

In a video hosted by Masahiro Sakurai, the Super Smash Bros. creator detailed the boxy new fighters, providing a detailed breakdown of their one-of-a-kind move set, which involves digging into stages to gather materials to craft tools and construct blocks to use in a variety of ways in battle. (Photo: Business Wire)

In a video hosted by Masahiro Sakurai, the Super Smash Bros. creator detailed the boxy new fighters, providing a detailed breakdown of their one-of-a-kind move set, which involves digging into stages to gather materials to craft tools and construct blocks to use in a variety of ways in battle.

To view the video in its entirety, visit https://www.youtube.com/c/nintendo/videos.

“Steve and Alex bring their world of building and crafting from Minecraft to the action-packed stages of Super Smash Bros. Ultimate,” said Nick Chavez, Nintendo of America’s Senior Vice President of Sales and Marketing. “When new fighters are added through the Fighters Pass, they bring a whole new style of gameplay to Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, offering players new strategies and options to keep the experience fresh.”

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