Liberal billionaire George Soros drastically increased his shares in a handful of tech companies after previously bashing such companies as a "menace" and while a coalition of progressive groups he financially backs pushes a campaign that includes a goal of breaking up Facebook.
Soros made the large stock purchases during the second quarter through Soros Fund Management, the financier's New York City-based investment firm. The purchases include 159,200 shares in Facebook (valued at $31 million), 250,000 shares in Twitter (valued at $11 million), and 54,500 shares in Apple (valued at $10 million), Security and Exchange Commission filings show.
Soros did not have holdings in any of those companies during the first quarter, according to the fund's previous filings.
Soros additionally reported 12,400 shares in Alphabet, Google's parent company, valued at $14 million. However, the shares in Alphabet decreased by $12 million from the previous quarter.
Soros made the big bets on tech after lambasting such companies as being a "menace" and "monopolistic" earlier this year at the World Economic Forum in Davos.
"[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," Soros said.
"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.
"Davos is a good place to announce that their days are numbered," he later added.
The bets are also in stark contrast to the mission of a coalition of progressive groups who received funding from Soros that are attempting to break up Facebook.
Freedom from Facebook, the coalition of liberal groups who want to break up the company, consists of the Open Markets Institute, MoveOn Civic Action, SumOfUs, and Citizens Against Monopolies—many of which have received funding from the billionaire.
A request for comment on the stock purchases was not returned by press time.
Published under: Apple , Facebook , George Soros , Google , Twitter