US: Facebook co-founder and critic Chris Hughes launches “anti-monopoly” fund

Facebook co-founder Chris Hughes, an outspoken critic of the social media company’s size and power, announced October 17 the launch of a US$10 million fund to help tame big tech. 

Hughes, along with members of the Economic Security Project, formed an anti-monopoly fund that is backed by a combination of individual donors, institutional investors, and family foundations. 

Funds, which will be available until March 2021, will be driven towards ongoing anti-monopoly policy efforts as well as supporting new initiatives to combat corporate concentration.

Backed by a series of high-profile philanthropies, including the George Soros-financed Open Society Foundations and the Omidyar Network—created by a founder of eBay—the new effort aims to shine a spotlight on competition and “move the issue from the margins to the mainstream,” Hughes said in an interview.

“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,” he added.

“Americans understand corporate power has gotten out of control,” Hughes said, “and a lot of [groups] are interested in organizing to push back against them.”

The launch of the new anti-monopoly fund reflects an evolution in Hughes’s personal engagement on antitrust roughly five months after he issued his first public call to break up and regulate Facebook. In an essay for The New York Times, Hughes wrote that Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s influence exceeded “anyone else in the private sector or government,” granting him the power to gobble up rivals, crowd out investment, and stifle innovation, threatening consumers and democracy itself.

Full Content: Sky Statement

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