George Soros: It's 'only a matter of time' before dominance of Facebook and Google is 'broken'

  • Billionaire investor George Soros called Facebook and Google a "menace" and "monopolistic" at a dinner in Davos.
  • He said they would be tempted to "compromise themselves" to enter the Chinese market, where they have long been banned.
  • Facebook has come under fire from big names and former employees as it's struggled to dampen hate speech and foreign influence on its platform.

Billionaire investor George Soros bashed Facebook and Google in a speech at the World Economic Forum in Davos, saying that it's "only a matter of time before the global dominance of the US IT monopolies is broken," according to a transcript obtained by CNBC.

Soros said the tech companies were a "menace" and "ever more powerful monopolies," that would be tempted to "compromise themselves" to enter the Chinese market, where they have long been banned.

"[A]s Facebook and Google have grown into ever more powerful monopolies, they have become obstacles to innovation, and they have caused a variety of problems of which we are only now beginning to become aware," he said, according to the transcript.

"They claim they are merely distributing information. But the fact that they are near-monopoly distributors makes them public utilities and should subject them to more stringent regulations, aimed at preserving competition, innovation, and fair and open universal access," he said.

Buzzfeed first reported the news.

The temptation to among these companies to cooperate with authoritarian regimes like China in order to get access to those markets "may well result in a web of totalitarian control the likes of which not even Aldous Huxley or George Orwell could have imagined."

"Davos is a good place to announce that their days are numbered," he said.

Facebook in particular has come under fire from both big names and former employees as it has struggled to dampen hate speech and foreign influence on its platform.

Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff also criticized Facebook at the annual meeting of global elites, where he called for Facebook to be regulated like tobacco companies.

Soros separately at Davos had strong words for President Donald Trump, saying he has set the U.S. "on a course towards nuclear war."