Billionaire George Soros used his platform at Davos on Thursday to launch an attack on Facebook, Google and other tech giants which he called a "menace" to society for their monopolistic behaviour.
But the Hungarian investor's words had no impact on the market as both companies ended Thursday's session higher, even as he accused such websites of influencing how people think and damaging democracy - "particularly the integrity of elections".
Facebook's and Google's size, he argued, meant they had become "obstacles to innovation", pursuing instead their own agendas that allowed them "deceive their users by manipulating their attention and directing it towards their own commercial purposes".
He added: "They exploit the data they control, bundle the services they offer, and use discriminatory pricing to keep for themselves more of the benefits that otherwise they would have to share with consumers."
Soros claimed that because the tech giants were "near-monopoly distributors", this made public utilities and as such should subject them to more stringent regulation aimed at preserving competition and innovation.
He held up as a worthy example Margrethe Vestager, the European Union competition commissioner, who landed a €2.6bn fine on Google last year for abusing its dominance as a search engine to promote products sold by its own subsidiaries.
Zero market impact
His words had little impact on the market, however. Facebook shares climbed 0.5% on Thursday, and were poised to open little changed on Friday at $187.48.
Shares in Google parent Alphabet rose 0.93% on Thursday, and were similarly expected to open flat on Friday at $1,182.14.