- Facebook co-founder Chris Hughes, who left the social media company in 2007, announced a $10 million “anti-monopoly fund” Thursday.
- The Economic Security Project, which Hughes co-chairs, launched the fund that will give financial support to various organizations pushing back against the market dominance of America’s largest companies.
- Hughes said in a Thursday tweet that the fund “will fight the outsized influence corporations across industries have had on our economy for far too long.”
Facebook co-founder Chris Hughes, who left the social media company in 2007 and has been a proponent of breaking up Big Tech ever since, announced a $10 million “anti-monopoly fund” Thursday.
The Economic Security Project, which Hughes co-chairs, launched the fund that will give financial support to various organizations including academic research groups, policy advocate groups and grassroots campaigns that study and push back against the power of America’s largest companies.
The fund could counter billion-dollar efforts by companies with monopolistic market behavior like Facebook, Google and Amazon to maintain their strongholds in the market, The Washington Post reported Thursday morning.
“You don’t need a degree in economics to know corporations and the wealthy have had a heavy hand in setting a lot of economic [policy] over the past several decades,” Hughes said in an interview with the Post, which is owned by Amazon founder Jeff Bezos.
Hughes, who cashed out on his stock of nearly $500 million in May 2019, tweeted the interview on Thursday, writing, “Monopolies don’t just exist in Big Tech, which is why [the Economic Security Project’s] new [Anti-Monopoly] Fund will fight the outsized influence corporations across industries have had on our economy for far too long.”
Monopolies don’t just exist in Big Tech, which is why @EconomicSecProj’s new #AntiMonopoly Fund will fight the outsized influence corporations across industries have had on our economy for far too long. @tonyromm has more in today’s @washingtonpost https://t.co/QERWUoBlve
— Chris Hughes (@chrishughes) October 17, 2019
The Economic Security Project’s website says the Anti-Monopoly Fund will direct resources to help “groups already dedicated to creating fair markets and enacting smart anti-monopoly enforcement and policy” grow.
“The goal of the AMF is to harness the political and cultural moment we are in to create meaningful structural change to our economy and effectively use civic power to check private power that has fueled the massive inequality and lack of economic mobility that has plagued poor and middle-class Americans for nearly half a century,” the website continues.
Hughes told the Post that while “a good number of groups working on this for some time,” he felt it was time to create something to fight monopolistic companies in “tech but also in the agriculture and pharmaceutical spaces” by investing in outside organizations with the same goal.
Let’s reclaim power over our politics and economy from corporations that use their influence to create a system that works in their favor. We’re creating a fund to catalyze big ideas to make our economy work for the public, not profiteers. #AntiMonopoly https://t.co/EnMMS3KYBX pic.twitter.com/aQgMTql1Hw
— Economic Security Project (@EconomicSecProj) October 17, 2019
The fund is backed by several well-known philanthropy organizations including the Open Society Foundations, which is financed by George Soros, and the Omidyar Network, according to the Post
Omidyar Network senior director said the fund is “a positive sign that people who are insiders, if you will, are now saying, ‘Hang on, maybe some things have gone too far.'”
“There’s more concentration now than 20 years ago,” he added. “It’s our view we need to be having a conversation about what this is doing to the economy more broadly.” (RELATED: Facebook Co-Founder Chris Hughes Making Efforts In Washington DC To Break Up Big Tech)
The announcement came just over a week after the Post reported on Oct. 8 that about 40 state attorneys general were planning to participate in an antitrust investigation of Facebook, which has amassed more than 2.7 billion monthly users including those on Instagram and WhatsApp, initiated by New York Attorney General Letitia James on Sept. 6.
“Even the largest social media platform in the world must follow the law and respect consumers,” James said, according to a Sept. 6 press release. “I am proud to be leading a bipartisan coalition of attorneys general in investigating whether Facebook has stifled competition and put users at risk.”
Facebook did not immediately respond to the Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for comment.
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