- Alexis Ohanian said Facebook’s explosive growth is “inevitable” unless lawmakers intervene.
- The Reddit founder said government intervention is the only thing to “stop the march” of big tech firms.
- Regulatory talk is growing louder in Washington as scrutiny mounts on the tech industry.
Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian said the only thing that can reel in tech’s biggest players is the US government.
Ohanian told the Wharton Business Daily’s Dan Leony that “it is now very obvious that there isn’t going to be anything to stop the march of” Facebook, Apple, Amazon,
, and Google without government intervention.
He likened Facebook specifically to the Marvel villain Thanos, who declares in the final installments of the franchise that he is “inevitable” in his mission to wipe out half the universe.
“Talk about Thanos saying, ‘I’m inevitable,’ like Facebook growing to a two trillion-dollar company is inevitable, short of government intervention,” Ohanian said. Facebook hit a $1 trillion valuation in late June after a judge tossed out lawsuits filed by the Federal Trade Commission and state attorneys general.
The venture capitalist also said he hopes the conversations among lawmakers in regard to tech regulation are “well-informed” about technology since he said heavier oversight, if carried out incorrectly, could stifle innovation.
—Wharton Business Daily (@WhartonBizDaily) July 14, 2021
Chatter about finally regulating the lucrative tech world has grown louder in the past year. Lawmakers investigated the Big Four over online competition and concluded last fall that they are “the kinds of monopolies we last saw in the era of oil barons and railroad tycoons.”
Big tech companies are also facing lawsuits from the FTC, state attorneys general, and agencies across the pond. The FTC, which is empowered to enforce antitrust laws, is now led by a vocal big tech critic. And Congress unveiled a package of antitrust bills in June intended to keep tech firms from growing too powerful.