Speaking with Bloomberg, Microsoft co-founder Gates said it is better to regulate big tech companies. Breaking them up will simply result in two companies indulging in bad behavior.
"I don't know the last time a company was broken up… but you have to really think, 'Is that the best thing if there's a way that a company's behaving that you want to get rid of?' Then you should just say, 'Hey, OK, that's a banned behavior'," said Gates.
"Splitting a company in two and having two people doing the bad thing, you know that doesn't seem like a solution," he added.
Gates said it was a "pretty narrow set of things" where a break-up would be a suitable solution.
"I was naive about this but that was a long time ago and I didn't realize that as Microsoft gets successful we'd come under scrutiny and we went through our thing back in the 1990s and that's made us more thoughtful about this kind of activity," he said.
Presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren earlier this year proposed breaking up Silicon Valley giants in the name of competition, singling out Amazon's acquisitions of Diapers.com and Zappos, and Google's acquisition of DoubleClick and Nest.
As for tech companies paying taxes and dealing with the impact of social media, Gates thinks it's really up to society to demand changes and for governments to implement them.
"Government really needs to talk about what those rules should be. You could say I'm biased, but I see these as well-meaning, highly innovative companies. It's up to society to make sure that their innovation doesn't have negative side-effects," he said.
"Divestment, to date, probably has reduced about zero tonnes of emissions," he told the paper. "It's not like you've capital-starved [the] people making steel and gasoline," he said. "I don't know the mechanism of action where divestment [keeps] emissions [from] going up every year. I'm just too damn numeric."