CEOs of Tech Giants Amazon, Apple, Facebook and Google Grilled For Over 5 Hours During the Antitrust Hearing, Lawmakers Questioned Everything from Antitrust to Political Bias to Platforms’ Dealing with Disinformation

On Wednesday, the United States lawmakers took on the CEOs of the world’s largest tech companies- Apple, Amazon, Google, and Facebook, during a high-stakes antitrust hearing. It could lay the groundwork for stronger regulation of the dominant platforms.

The CEOs of Apple, Amazon, Facebook, and Google appeared, by video, before a House of Representatives panel investigating the market dominance of these platforms. Tim Cook, Jeff Bezos, Mark Zuckerberg, and Sundar Pichai were questioned for more than five hours during the antitrust hearing which was mainly called to focus on whether these tech giants abuse their dominancy in the market, however, the hearing veered quickly into topics such as dealing with China, political bias, the privacy of consumers, and how the major internet platforms deal with misleading information.

The executives were asked, are you guys too powerful? The US lawmakers came up with evidence in the form of documents as well as individuals to hold the executives of major internet platforms accountable. Clearly, many had done their research, and Zuckerberg of Facebook and Pichai of Google had to face a flood of questions on whether Facebook and Google are biased against conservatives.

Tim Cook of Apple faced fewest questions and was confronted on policies of App Store, while Jeff Bezos, CEO of Amazon, was questioned on how Amazon uses competitive data from 3rd-party sellers. The antitrust hearing culminates a one-year-long investigation into the four major tech companies by the House Judiciary Committee.

Representative David Cicilline chairs this panel, a Democrat from Rhode Island, and he said that these tech giants have too much power. Cicilline believes that these firms have a monopoly, and while some need to be broken up, all firms should be properly regulated.

He added that the pandemic has strengthened the dominancy of tech giants, and these companies are likely to emerge stronger from the coronavirus pandemic. However, a Republican from Wisconsin, Jim Sensenbrenner, stated that being big isn’t inherently bad, and you should be rewarded for success in the US.

CEO Google was pressed about whether the ad platform tactics of Google hurt other players like news outlets. CEO Apple said that the company treats all developers the same, and Bezos defended Amazon by stating that there are several options for small companies. Bezos said that he thinks Amazon is the best option.

On the other hand, President Trump said that if Congress fails to bring fairness to Big Tech, he will do it himself with Executive Orders.

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