Antitrust law

Scoop: The millionaire funding the campaign to break up Facebook

The "thumbs up" sign outside Facebook headquarters, in darkness
Facebook headquarters in California. Photo: Josh Edelson/AFP/Getty Images

A Pennsylvania philanthropist and former hedge fund executive named David Magerman was the initial donor behind a high-profile campaign urging regulators to break up Facebook, he confirmed to Axios for the first time on Thursday.

Why it matters: Magerman has given more than $400,000 to the campaign — "Freedom from Facebook" — because he believes Facebook has too much power over how the world communicates. A Republican-oriented consulting firm hired by Facebook had tried to link the campaign to billionaire philanthropist George Soros.

Media deals become Trump's political targets — again

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Mergers are central to media companies' strategies for competing with tech giants like Google and Netflix, but the merger review process has suddenly become a political football between President Trump and congressional Democrats.

Why it matters: Trump continues to comment on antitrust matters related to media companies he doesn't like, and experts worry the resulting political fray could hinder the Justice Department's ability to independently evaluate mergers. Media companies looking to merge amid an already difficult economic climate now have to consider this reality as a part of their business decisions.

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