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Greycroft's Patricof says Amazon could be helping to destroy 'the fabric of America'

  • Greycroft co-founder Alan Patricof said Friday that Amazon is "not necessarily" a bad company.
  • The venture capitalist pointed to empty storefronts and the country's worsening drug epidemic as evidence of communities breaking down — a trend he said Amazon advances.
  • Brick-and-mortar retailer Walmart raised similar concerns when it started moving in across the country. But at least then, Patricof said, people were engaging in the outside world.

Greycroft co-founder Alan Patricof said Friday that Amazon is "not necessarily" a bad company, but urged that "as a society we have to think about the fact that, you know, at what point do we say we're destroying the fabric of America?"

The venture capitalist pointed to empty storefronts and the country's worsening drug epidemic as evidence of communities breaking down — a trend he said Amazon advances.

"There are empty stores all over because people are pressing buttons and buying and Amazon is leading the way," Patricof told CNBC's "Squawk Alley." "Do we want to destroy the neighborhood and neighborhood stores?"

Brick-and-mortar retailer Walmart raised similar concerns when it started moving in across the country. But at least then, Patricof said, people were engaging in the outside world.

"Walmart was more a physical presence. It was not online," he said. "Now, I mean, we're talking about an online presence where people press buttons and don't go places."

Patricof's portfolio at Greycroft includes several e-commerce start-ups that could be considered competitors to parts of Amazon's business. Though he told CNBC his criticism comes from a place of "social concern."

Amazon and its dominance in e-commerce have come under heightened scrutiny in recent weeks, as President Donald Trump continues to take on the tech company and its billionaire CEO and Washington Post-owner Jeff Bezos.

"I'd hate to agree with our president. I haven't been exactly supportive of him, but I think that he's not wrong in saying ... we should be looking at it and seeing what the implication it's having for the country overall," Patricof said.