The CEOs of Amazon, Apple, Facebook, and Google were sworn in remotely Wednesday for a historic antitrust hearing before House lawmakers. Rep. David Cicilline, chairman of the House Judiciary antitrust subcommittee, used his opening statement to accuse the tech giants of damaging the economy through excessive dominance, the New York Times reports. "Any single action by one of these companies can affect hundreds of millions of us in profound and lasting ways,” the Democrat said. "Simply put: They have too much power." He called the CEOs the "emperors of the new economy." Some highlights:
- Google "abused its power." Cicilline's first target was Google CEO Sundar Pichai, the Washington Post reports. He accused Google of using stolen information to crush rivals. "The evidence seems very clear to me: As Google became the gateway to the Internet, it began to abuse its power," Cicilline said. "It used its surveillance over Web traffic to begin to identify competitive threats and crush them. It has dampened innovation and new business growth, and it has dramatically increased the price of accessing users on the Internet, virtually ensuring that any business that wants to be found on the Web must pay Google a tax."