Investor Marc Lasry says Facebook should be regulated like a utility after data debacle

  • "If you look at it right now, I'd argue that really what they are is a utility and they should be regulated because they haven't been able to regulate themselves," investor Marc Lasry says.
  • The hedge fund manager made his comments after reports on Friday said political analytics firm Cambridge Analytica was able to collect data on 50 million people's Facebook profiles without their consent.
  • The news sent Facebook shares sliding more than 7 percent, putting them on track for their biggest one-day decline since September 2012.
Marc Lasry
Adam Jeffery | CNBC
Marc Lasry

The government should step in and regulate Facebook like a utility, according to hedge fund manager Marc Lasry.

"If you look at it right now, I'd argue that really what they are is a utility and they should be regulated because they haven't been able to regulate themselves," Lasry told CNBC's "Halftime Report" on Monday.

Lasry, co-founder of Avenue Capital Group, made his comments after reports on Friday said political analytics firm Cambridge Analytica was able to collect data on 50 million Facebook profiles without their consent. Cambridge Analytica worked on Facebook ads with President Donald Trump's election campaign in 2016. Facebook said it has suspended Cambridge Analytica from its platform.

Cambridge Analytica has denied violating Facebook's terms of service.

The news sent Facebook's stock sliding more than 7 percent, putting it on track for its biggest one-day decline since September 2012. The shares traded more than 10 percent below their all-time high set Feb. 1 and dropped below their 50- and 100-day moving averages, two key technical levels.

Facebook's decline also pushed the broader stock market lower. As of 12:55 p.m. in New York , the Dow Jones industrial average and S&P 500 were more than 1 percent lower while the Nasdaq composite had dropped more than 2 percent.

"I think the problem ends up being Facebook hasn't been able to regulate themselves," Lasry said. "So therefore, if you have the government coming in and now it's a utility, as a utility there's going to be a limit on what you're going to be able to make."