Behind the Elon Musk- Mark Zuckerberg ‘Cage Match’ Is a Yearslong Billionaire Feud

Money can’t buy you happiness, but can $230 billion buy you a TKO?  Elon Musk is apparently ready to find out, with the world’s richest man has challenged Mark Zuckerberg to a “cage match” — an offer that the martial arts-loving Facebook co-founder quickly agreed to. 

“This is real bad blood. This is a beef that has lasted over years,” Wedbush Securities analyst Dan Ives tells CNBC Make It. “It’s gotten more and more nasty. And it looks like the only way it’s going to be settled is in the cage.” 

“I think we’ve entered the Twilight Zone,” Ives added. “It’s a new era of settling disputes.”

The billionaire brawl, proposed by Elon Musk to be held in the “Vegas Octagon,” signifies the pinnacle of a long-standing rivalry between two influential figures in the technology industry. This event, if it materializes, will mark the climax of their ongoing feud, which has spanned several years.

The term “Octagon” alludes to the infamous arena used in mixed martial arts fights, suggesting that the confrontation between these tech moguls will be intense and highly competitive. As the billionaire brawl unfolds, the world will witness the culmination of their power struggle, offering a dramatic spectacle that reflects their prominence and impact in the tech world.

Elon Musk and Mark Zuckerberg, with a collective net worth of $335 billion, as per the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, have engaged in a series of verbal exchanges, hurling insults at each other’s businesses over the years.

This rivalry has manifested through public jabs, where both Musk and Zuckerberg have taken turns criticizing and mocking one another’s ventures. The animosity between these two tech tycoons has captivated attention due to their immense wealth and influence, making their exchanges a topic of interest within the industry and beyond.

In recent times, Elon Musk has been vocal about his disdain for Facebook and its affiliated platforms. In a tweet earlier this year, Musk claimed that Instagram contributes to people feeling depressed. Moreover, in 2018 following the Cambridge Analytica scandal, Musk took a bold step by deleting the Facebook pages of his companies Tesla and SpaceX.

He expressed his dissatisfaction with the social network, referring to it as “lame.” These actions and statements demonstrate Musk’s strong opposition to Facebook and its perceived negative impacts on mental well-being and privacy concerns. Such public criticisms have further fueled the rivalry between Musk and Mark Zuckerberg.

During the controversy surrounding the Cambridge Analytica scandal, Elon Musk clarified his stance on Facebook by tweeting, “I don’t use FB and never have,” emphasizing his lack of personal involvement with the platform.

He went on to express his discomfort with Facebook, stating that it gives him an unsettling feeling, using the colloquial term “willies” to convey his unease. Musk’s tweet reiterated his aversion to Facebook and his decision to distance himself from the social media giant, further highlighting his skepticism and reservations towards the platform and its practices.

Elon Musk has not only targeted Facebook but has also taken jabs at Meta-owned WhatsApp. In a tweet made in May, the 51-year-old owner of Twitter expressed his lack of trust in the messaging platform, stating that WhatsApp “cannot be trusted.”

Musk’s tweet suggests skepticism towards the privacy and security measures of WhatsApp, implying that he harbors concerns regarding the platform’s handling of user data or other related issues.

By publicly questioning the trustworthiness of WhatsApp, Musk further contributes to the ongoing rivalry between himself and Meta, the parent company of WhatsApp.

Mark Zuckerberg has not refrained from publicly criticizing Elon Musk in the past. In 2016, after a SpaceX launch carrying a Facebook satellite failed, Zuckerberg wasted no time in attributing the blame to Musk.

The 39-year-old tech mogul openly held Musk responsible for the unsuccessful launch, indicating a direct confrontation between the two influential figures.

This incident exemplifies the ongoing rivalry and exchange of criticisms between Zuckerberg and Musk, further fueling the animosity and competition that has persisted between them for years.

During the aftermath of the failed SpaceX launch in 2016, Mark Zuckerberg expressed his disappointment and frustration with the situation. He conveyed his deep disappointment at learning that the SpaceX launch failure resulted in the destruction of a satellite that was intended to provide connectivity to numerous entrepreneurs and individuals across the continent.

Zuckerberg’s statement reflects his dissatisfaction with the incident and the impact it had on his plans to expand internet connectivity. This public expression of disappointment further exemplifies the tension and strained relationship between Zuckerberg and Elon Musk, highlighting their divergent interests and clashes within the tech industry.

Mark Zuckerberg and Elon Musk have divergent views when it comes to the potential risks associated with artificial intelligence (AI). Zuckerberg has publicly disagreed with Musk’s “doomsday scenarios” regarding AI, dismissing them as “really negative” and considering them to be irresponsible.

Musk has expressed concerns that AI could lead to an uncontrollable and powerful entity, while Zuckerberg takes a more optimistic stance, emphasizing the potential benefits and advancements that AI can bring.

This disagreement showcases a fundamental difference in their perspectives on AI and its potential consequences, contributing to the ongoing debate and contrasting views within the tech community.

The recent clash between Mark Zuckerberg and Elon Musk comes at a time when reports surfaced about Meta, formerly Facebook, developing a competitor to Twitter. While their rivalry has included various confrontations and public disagreements, a direct challenge to a fight appears to be a new development for both tech giants.

The public challenge signifies an escalated level of animosity and competition between them, capturing significant attention and fueling speculation about the nature of their rivalry.

As they venture into new territories, the clash between Zuckerberg and Musk continues to evolve, highlighting the intense competition and power dynamics within the tech industry.

According to Eleanor Bloxham, the CEO of corporate advisory firm The Value Alliance, the recent public challenge between Mark Zuckerberg and Elon Musk represents a unique situation and reflects a low point in terms of the maturity displayed by CEOs.

Bloxham suggests that such public confrontations between high-profile CEOs are not common and may be seen as a lack of professionalism or maturity in handling disagreements. This assessment highlights the unusual nature of the current clash between Zuckerberg and Musk, and raises concerns about the conduct and image of these influential figures in the business world.

Now, the two rivals appear ready to settle their disagreements, though it is unclear how fair of a fight it will be. 

Zuckerberg is an avid fan of combat sports, having recently won gold and silver at a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu tournament, while Musk on Wednesday admitted “I almost never work out.” 

But the 6-foot-2 Musk does have the size and weight advantage over the 5-foot-7 Zuckerberg. 

“Ultimately, regardless of who wins the match, I think the big winner is the internet,” Ives says.

Representatives for Zuckerberg and Musk did not immediately respond to CNBC Make It’s request for comment.

Information Source: CNBC

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