The CEOs of the biggest tech companies – Jeff Bezos for Amazon, Tim Cook for Apple, Sundar Pichai for Google and Mark Zuckerberg for Facebook – testified before the House Judiciary Committee anti-trust on Wednesday 29th July 2020.
The four tech companies were under anti-trust scrutiny. Additionally, the accusation that some of their actions harm consumers and stifle competition. The CEOs faced five hours of questions by the House Judiciary’s subcommittee on antitrust “to defend their firms against claims they abuse their power to quash competitors”.
The Verge has provided a useful summary of the major arguments the CEOs make in their opening statements.
“Although these four corporations differ in important and meaningful ways, we have observed common patterns and competition problems over the course of our investigation.” Representative David Cicilline, chairman of the House Judiciary Committee’s subcommittee on anti-trust opening remarks.
At the end of the five hours of testimony, Cicilline said
“Some need to be broken up and all need to be properly regulated”
The BBC provide a recap of what happened, and a video on how much power the ‘big four’ have:
- “Google and Facebook have faced claims of bias and being too intrusive over the way they study their users’ online habits.
- Apple was accused of unfairly treating developers, who can only offer iPhone apps via its own App Store.
- And many of the questions targeted at Amazon centred on why it isn’t doing more to combat counterfeits.”
There were hundreds of hours of testimony and over one million documents throughout the investigation since June 2019.
Overall, the committee plans to issue a report at the end of the summer with its findings. Lawmakers are considering tougher regulation and competition laws. Congress could introduce legislation to regulate big tech.