Soros attack on Facebook and Google lands wide


Brands and third-party content providers are also sucked into these companies because they "cannot avoid using the platform", Soros said.

George Soros, the billionaire businessman-turned-philanthropist, says he believes President Donald Trump wants to create a "mafia state" in the USA - but can't because of the strength of the country's underlying institutions. George Soros isn't involved in the day-to-day management of that organization.

Soros Fund Management, his family office, owned some shares of Facebook and Google parent Alphabet of September 30.

The billionaire investor said these technology giants are not mere distributors of information as they claim to be.

Public criticism of Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) and its effects on society continued to grow this week, with an investing legend joining the rising chorus of influential figures to rail against the social media behemoth. But Trump wasn't the only one who suffered the blitzkrieg from Soros.

Soros compared the platforms to gambling businesses, saying they may be permanently damaging to human attention, while speaking at a World Economic Forum dinner in Davos. "This can be very harmful, particularly for adolescents".

"As Facebook and Google have become increasingly powerful monopolies, they have become obstacles to innovation and have caused a variety of problems that we are only now beginning to realize, " Soros said.

"There could be an alliance between authoritarian states and these large, data-rich IT monopolies that would bring together nascent systems of corporate surveillance with an already developed system of state-sponsored surveillance", he said.

Soros said that the companies could create, 'a web of totalitarian control the likes of which not even Aldous Huxley or George Orwell could have imagined'.

Soros suggested Facebook and Google should be subject to more stringent regulations which would "preserve competition, innovation, and fair and open universal access", as well as taxation, stating that those two factors will be the death knell for the companies.

A Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism report revealed earlier this month that 44 per cent of publishers are more anxious about tech companies compared to the year before. The business magnate believes US internet-service companies are already tempted to give into the demand of authoritarian states in order to gain access to their markets. He called for significantly more regulatory oversight of the companies, holding up the European Union competition commissioner, Margrethe Vestager, as a model that other regulators should emulate.

Soros then stated his belief that the overreaching power of these companies would not last much longer saying "Davos is a good place to announce that their days are numbered".