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Billionaire George Soros. Photo: OLIVIER HOSLET/AFP/Getty Images

Billionaire investor George Soros launched a brutal attack on big online platform companies at this year’s World Economic Forum meeting in Davos. Now, his influential organization is "certainly examining new ways" to tackle the growing power of tech giants, according to an official at his influential philanthropy.

Why it matters: Soros may put his money where his mouth is. With a global reach and an annual budget of more than a billion dollars, the Open Society Foundations has the ability to significantly shape the growing debate over the power of Big Tech.

What they’re saying: “The Open Society Foundations has long worked on issues involving the free and democratic flow of information and the ways in which a concentration of power can affect knowledge and communication,” Open Society Foundations acting Co-Director of U.S. Programs Laleh Ispahani said in a statement to Axios. “Mr. Soros’s speech reflected rising concern about the effects of a handful of giant internet platforms having so much influence, and we’re certainly examining new ways we might address those concerns in ongoing conversations not just in the U.S. but among our foundation colleagues globally.”

  • Soros has been on a tear against the web platforms lately. "The rise and monopolistic behavior of the giant American Internet platform companies is contributing mightily to the US government’s impotence," he wrote in a recent op-ed that predicted that regulatory action in the European Union will be their "undoing."

What they’re doing: The organization didn’t provide details of their current conversations. A spokesman said that it provided a $180,000 two-year grant to the Open Markets Institute last fall for work around web platforms.

  • The organization's interest in platforms has been building for some time. It gave the group Data & Society $250,000 in 2016 for "reimagining pathways for algorithmic accountability of platforms and organizations that produce and distribute content, such as search and recommendation engines and social media."
  • Open Society Foundations has weighed in on issues like net neutrality and surveillance.

Go deeper: Interest in this topic is rising among wealthy individuals who can use their philanthropic organizations to influence the conversation.

Go deeper

The hard math behind America's labor shortage

Data: Bureau of Labor Statistics, Congressional Budget Office; Chart: Axios Visuals

Yes, the pandemic has created unusual temporary labor market dynamics. But in the bigger picture, the 2010s were a golden age for companies seeking cheap labor. The 2020s are not.

The big picture: In the 2010s, the massive millennial generation was entering the workforce, the massive baby bo0m generation was still hard at work, and there was a multi-year hangover from the deep recession caused by the global financial crisis.

Advocates fret Roe v. Wade's 49th anniversary could be its last

Photo: Leigh Vogel/Getty Images for Women's March Inc

As Saturday marks the 49th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, the Supreme Court's landmark decision that legalized abortion access in the U.S., advocates warn the ruling is "more at risk now than ever."

The big picture: The Supreme Court in December heard a challenge to a Mississippi 15-week abortion ban that could throw Roe's survival into question, or at least narrow its scope.

Updated 12 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Omicron dashboard

Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

  1. Health: Pfizer and Moderna boosters overwhelmingly prevent Omicron hospitalizations, CDC finds — Omicron pushes COVID deaths toward 2,000 per day — The pandemic-proof health care giant.
  2. Vaccines: The case for Operation Warp Speed 2.0 — Starbucks drops worker vaccine or test requirement after SCOTUS ruling — Kids' COVID vaccination rates are particularly low in rural America.
  3. Politics: Biden concedes U.S. should have done more testing — Arizona says it "will not be intimidated" by Biden on anti-mask school policies — Federal judge blocks Biden's vaccine mandate for federal workers.
  4. World: American Airlines flight to London forced to turn around over mask dispute — WHO: COVID health emergency could end this year — Greece imposes vaccine mandate for people 60 and older — Austria approves COVID vaccine mandate for adults.
  5. Variant tracker