George Soros regrets investing in Peter Thiel’s Palantir, after revealing this week that it took an 18.46 million stake in the data-mining company in 2012 – something Soros Fund Management says it wouldn’t do today.
“SFM made this investment at a time when the negative social consequences of big data were less understood,” the firm said in a Tuesday statement, according to Bloomberg. “SFM would not make an investment in Palantir today.”
George Soros’s investment firm disclosed the holding in its latest 13F regulatory filing late Friday with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. The position was worth $175 million at the end of the quarter.
Soros explained in a note posted on the Open Society Foundations website that the money manager who originally made the investment is no longer employed with the investment firm. The position in Palantir was converted into publicly traded shares when Palantir, co-founded by Peter Thiel, became listed on the New York Stock Exchange in September. –Bloomberg
According to SFM, Soros has sold all the shares it can at this time, and will continue to sell – adding “SFM does not approve of Palantir’s business practices,” without elaborating.
In recent years, the 90-year-old Soros has taken a more aggressive stance against artificial intelligence and tech companies – slamming Facebook and Google for ‘fostering addiction’ among users and exploiting data they control. Soros warned of the ‘mortal danger’ of China’s use of AI to repress its citizens.
Palantir, co-founded by Thiel, relies on government contracts, including with the US Department of Defense and the CIA, for much of its revenue – selling software that critics say facilitates the deportation of illegal immigrants, along with aggressive policing.