WASHINGTON — The chief executives of 4 of the world’s largest know-how corporations will seem earlier than Congress this month as a part of its sweeping antitrust investigation into their market energy, in keeping with the committee operating the inquiry, organising a high-profile face-off between the businesses and skeptical lawmakers.
Jeff Bezos of Amazon, Tim Cook of Apple, Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook and Sundar Pichai of Alphabet, which owns Google and YouTube, will seem on the listening to, stated Shadawn Reddick-Smith, a spokeswoman for the House Judiciary Committee, which is claimed to be nearing the top of its investigation.
The date has not been set, and it hasn’t been determined whether or not the executives will seem in particular person or just about, as has change into frequent in the course of the coronavirus pandemic, Ms. Reddick Smith stated.
The listening to will permit lawmakers to ask the executives about accusations of antitrust abuses at their corporations, all of that are the main target of investigations by federal regulators or state attorneys common. The executives are additionally prone to face questions on different points, like Amazon’s therapy of its warehouse staff or the unfold of hate speech on Facebook and YouTube.
The listening to can be a central second within the persevering with backlash towards the facility of main tech corporations. Prosecutors on the Justice Department are making ready a potential antitrust case towards Google this 12 months, after an inquiry homed in on its management of promoting know-how and the search engine market. The Federal Trade Commission is investigating Amazon’s enterprise and Facebook’s acquisition of smaller corporations.
Quite a lot of state attorneys common are investigating related points and will pursue their very own actions or work with federal authorities.
It would be the first time that Mr. Bezos will testify earlier than Congress. Mr. Zuckerberg, Mr. Pichai and Mr. Cook have appeared in entrance of Capitol Hill lawmakers earlier than.
Alphabet, Facebook and Amazon declined to remark on the report concerning the committee’s plans. An Apple spokesman didn’t instantly reply to a request for remark.
The plans for the listening to had been reported earlier by Kara Swisher, a contributing opinion writer for The New York Times.
The lawmakers’ investigation has focused on different aspects of each business. They have raised many questions about Amazon’s treatment of brands that sell products on its e-commerce site. Much of the attention on Google has been on its lucrative ad business. With Apple, lawmakers have asked about how its App Store terms hurt developers. Their questions to Facebook have been largely about its use of past acquisitions to cement its dominance in social media.
Apple, Amazon, Alphabet and Facebook are four of the five biggest tech companies by market value. The fifth, Microsoft, has not been subjected to the same public scrutiny in recent years. It faced a landmark antitrust case a generation ago.