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Big Tech CEOs Head to Congress for Historic Hearing

Apple, Amazon, Facebook, Google on the defense over rising power
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 29, 2020 7:06 AM CDT

(Newser) – Chief executives of Facebook, Google, Apple, and Amazon are set to testify remotely before Congress on Wednesday as part of a hearing focusing on the size and power of the world's leading tech companies, following a yearlong investigation by the House judiciary’s antitrust subcommittee. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg will argue "companies aren't bad just because they are big," and stress Facebook's role in boosting small companies through its history of acquisitions, per the Guardian. In prepared testimony, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos refers to himself as "a garage inventor" who's helped small sellers succeed on Amazon's third-party marketplace—though there are red flags there. He also appears to downplay Amazon's success amid the coronavirus pandemic but advises "we should scrutinize all large institutions," including Amazon.

Apple's Tim Cook is likely to defend competition in the App Store, where Apple's own apps arguably have a leg up, and stress that the company controls just 15% of the global smartphone market, though that figure is around 42% in the US, per the New York Times. Google's Sundar Pichai will similarly claim the company "operates in highly competitive and dynamic global markets" and that its "continued success is not guaranteed," with users turning to Twitter, Pinterest, and other websites for information, per the Guardian. Underlying all this is the argument that regulation will weaken US companies, Dipayan Ghosh and Joshua A. Geltzer write at NBC News. What Congress should not forget is that these companies have "systematically exploited Americans' data and attention at the expense of individual consumers, public safety and the health of our democracy." (Read more tech companies stories.)

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