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Billionaire Mark Zuckerberg: 'No one deserves to have that much money'

Margi Murphy
Mark Zuckerberg, 35, is the worlds fifth richest man - AP

Billionaire Mark Zuckerberg said that he did not believe it was “fair” to have become so rich, during the company’s weekly business conference at the company's headquarters in Menlo Park.   

He said: “I don’t know if I have an exact threshold on what amount someone should have.

"At some level, no-one deserves to have that much money. I think that if you do something that is good, you should get rewarded. But I do think that some of the wealth that is accumulated is unreasonable.”

The 35-year-old, who is the fifth richest man in the world according to Bloomberg, was answering a question from an employee who had asked him to reflect upon presidential candidate Bernie Sanders’ recent statement that “billionaires shouldn't exist”. 

Mr Zuckerberg and his wife Priscilla Chan have previously pledged to give 99pc of their Facebook shares away over their lifetime, through the Chan Zuckerberg initiative.

However, Mr Zuckerberg, said he "knew where he [Mr Sanders] is coming from" and accepted that many may have concerns over whether charitable giving was always in society’s best interest.

He said: “On some level it is not fair, but it may be optimal in that it is better than the alternative, which is that the government chooses the funding for all of the stuff”.

The “stuff” in question is scientific research, which Facebook has invested heavily in. Mr Zuckerberg compared this to government-backed initiatives in the US that award grants by state, so the funding is spread thin for individual, local projects. 

Facebook bought CTRL labs, a mind reading startup for a reported $500m-$1bn last month. 

Mr Zuckerberg is facing opposition on all sides of the political spectrum, with scrutiny not only from Mr Sanders, president Donald Trump but presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren, who has called to break up his business and others in Silicon Valley.  

Thursday's internal meeting was the first to be broadcast after an employee leaked the transcript of the most recent to the Verge. They reveal Mr Zuckerberg threatening to "go to the mat" with Ms Warren and "fight" when asked about her plan to dismantle his business.