Quoted: Are Mark Zuckerberg and Facebook freeloaders?

“Mark Zuckerberg is like the guy who comes to your party and drinks your champagne, and kisses your girls, and doesn’t bring anything.”

Denis O’Brien, chairman of Digicel Group, a wireless provider in 33 countries, on how telecom operators feel about companies such as Facebook and Google. In other words, O’Brien tells the Wall Street Journal that Facebook and Google take and take but don’t give back to telecom providers. “[Google earns] billions of dollars on advertising, and they don’t pay a penny. I think it’s the most extraordinary business model in modern history,” he said.

But the companies don’t seem to feel they’re getting something for nothing. According to the Journal, Facebook says it has tried to work with telecom companies on ways for both sides to make money, while a Google spokeswoman cited a report by a research firm showing that Internet companies spend billions annually on global communications infrastructure such as undersea cables.

O’Brien’s comments come as Facebook CEO Zuckerberg and others meet at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona this week.

The New York Times, too, reports on what it calls the love-hate relationship between tech and telecom — especially as mobile has become king. Both sides need the other, but they’re also moving in on each other’s territory. For example, Facebook and Google’s free messaging services bypass offerings wireless carriers charge for, such as text messages. Some telecom companies are teaming up with tech companies to bundle tech services, such as movie or music streaming. And some telecom companies have begun to invest in startups to try to keep on top of emerging technology.

Photo of Mark Zuckerberg by Kirstina Sangsahachart/Daily News archives


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  • Kevin Cunningham

    O’Brien’s problem is that “girls” love kissing Mark Zuckerberg. In fact, they wouldn’t have come to the party if he weren’t there.

  • cw

    O’Brien’s party is the one where you have to pay $5/hr to rent your glass, and the toilet paper in the bathroom costs $1/square. Zuckerberg came with a bundle of free glasses and toilet paper he’s handing out. No wonder he’s popular. Who cares whether the glasses and toilet paper have advertisements on them?

  • That was great to see this news about zuckerberg but really they come to enjoy the party ? when he is not a famous personality may be he would enjoying but now he is a Social Media company owner & whole thing is changed and zuckerberg may be attending only rich kind of parties…..