The heads of some of the world’s biggest tech companies defended their firms against claims they abuse their power to quash competitors before Washington lawmakers.

Amazon boss Jeff Bezos said the planet “needs large” firms, while the heads of Facebook, Apple and Google argued their companies had spurred innovation.


Lawmakers consider tougher regulation and competition probes are under way as considering situation of market. Some critics want the firms choppy.

Republicans were more concerned about how they managed information and whether or not they were marginalizing conservative views. While Democrats pressed the tech titans on competition issue.

Who chaired hearings?

Congressman David Cicilline is the Democrat leading the congressional committee charring the hearing. He said that a year-long investigation by lawmakers had shown the web platforms has utilized their power in destructive, harmful ways to expand their business.


He said he was convinced the firms were monopolies and involved action.

“Some got to be choppy and everyone got to be properly regulated,” he said at the top of quite five hours of testimony.

Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg, Amazon’s Jeff Bezos, Sundar Pichai of Google, and Tim Cook of Apple insisted that they had done nothing illegal and stressed the American roots and values of their firms.

What are the most concerns about the tech giants?

At the hearing, lawmakers accused Google of getting stolen content created by smaller firms, like Yelp, so as to stay users on their own sites.

sundar pichai
Google CEO Sundar Pichai testifies remotely via videoconference during a U.S. House Judiciary Subcommittee on Antitrust, Commercial and Administrative Law hearing on “Online Platforms and Market Power” in this screengrab made from video as the committee meets on Capitol Hill, in Washington, U.S., July 29, 2020. U.S. House Judiciary Committee via REUTERS

Amazon’s treatment of sellers on its site, Facebook’s acquisition of competitors like Instagram, and Apple’s App store also drew attention.

Mr. Cicilline said Amazon had an inherent conflict of interest, since it both hosts sellers and competes against them by offering similar products on their online platform. Such practice has also come under scrutiny not only from the USA but also from European regulators.

Mr. Cicilline said that Amazon’s dual role is fundamentally anti-competitive and Congress must take action.

However, some Republicans signalled they weren’t prepared to separate up the firms or significantly overhaul US competition laws of the market. One member even saying “big isn’t inherently bad”.

Republican concerns focused on the upper hand of perceived political bias at the firms, which they accused of suppressing conservative views of small business owners.

New Anti-Trust Laws ?

Four of the world’s top technology company executives may testify before the Judiciary Committee from a distance platform. But still, they were still caught within the middle of a political storm on Wednesday afternoon.


The stated purpose of the hearing was to deal with whether existing anti-trust laws provide sufficient regulation of transnational tech Goliaths. the truth, however, was that the proceedings – with each member of the committee receiving five minutes to talk – were more like a feeding frenzy, as corporate chiefs faced criticism from every direction.

Democrats expressed concern that the businesses were abusing their power by disadvantaging competitors or buying them out entirely. Republicans accused the witnesses of insufficient patriotism and being too cozy with the Chinese.

View Points of Both Sides

Both sides expressed outrage over how the businesses managed speech and expression on their platforms. Democrats said these companies didn’t go far enough in removing hateful rhetoric and false information on their platform. They singled out conservatives for censorship of content, the Republicans countered.

Through it all, the witnesses thanked the questioners and took their lumps, perhaps confident that they might soon sign off and obtain back to their work. While all the politicians appeared to agree that the large tech companies were a drag, their chances of arriving at any quite solution seem unlikely.

What did the businesses say?

Appearing by remote video, the executives defended their companies by saying their products helped smaller businesses to grow & expand. They remained susceptible to competition from newcomers.

Apple boss Tim Cook said the business environment was so competitive that he himself might describe it as a street fight for market share within the smartphone business.


Bezos with prepared answers

Mr. Bezos, in his introduction before Congress, denied that Amazon’s multiple roles were not at all a conflict of interest. But still he admitted his firm was reviewing its handling of sales data from sellers on the location to receiver.

jeff bezos

The company has been under the accusation of using such information to launch its own version of hot-selling products with their brand tag.

Mr. Bezos said Amazon rules forbid staff from watching sales data from individual companies. Adding that he conceded it had been possible that employees had violated the policy of the company.

“We are investigating that,” he said.

In his prepared remarks, Mr. Bezos said Amazon faced significant competition from firms like Walmart and noted that the corporate lost money for years because it branched out into new areas.

Bezos said that he loves garage entrepreneurs because he used to be one. He added that it clear that world not only wants small companies but bigger companies are also necessary. There are things small companies simply can’t do at small platform.

What has Donald Trump said?

US President Donald Trump may be a long-time critic of Amazon and threatened his own action on Twitter, writing as below:

Trump stated that White House officials will be having a close look on the Congress hearing. Making clear that the actions of unfair means of such company is not acceptable by the public and himself.

Tech analyst Dan Ives of Wedbush Securities said “storm clouds” were building in Washington. But he also thought it seems difficult that Congress would close on new legislation that might force tech companies to vary.

He wrote that at he thinks a legislative fix is that the just one that makes a possible for limitations on these companies’ ability to conduct business. Though that takes the shape of upper taxes or new rules regarding market concentration of big firms.

In the absence of a legislative fix, no one can see meaningful change in regulation. Although future acquisitions will most certainly be scrutinized and harder to shut.


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