Tech titans Bezos, Cook, Pichai and Zuckerberg testify before Congress: what to know

Technology CEOs of Apple, Amazon, Facebook and Google will testify before Congress on Wednesday as lawmakers examine the dominance of these online platforms and the antitrust laws that belong to them.

This is what you should know:

When will it be?

Wednesday, July 29 at 12 pm ET with the House Judicial Antimonopoly Subcommittee. The hearing will be broadcast live on the Judicial Committee’s YouTube account.

Who will testify?

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, Apple CEO Tim Cook, Alphabet CEO Sundar Pichai and Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg will testify virtually. For Bezos, the hearing will be his first testimony before Congress. Twitter is notably absent from the list of represented companies.

The hearing completes a 13-month investigation.

The House of Representatives subcommittee has already spent 13 months conducting interviews and analyzing more than 1.3 million documents about the top four technology companies.

It is expected to move away from antitrust issues.

While the primary goal of the hearing is to review the effectiveness of antitrust laws in controlling market dominance and anti-competitive practices, Democrats are expected to raise disinformation concerns on social media and Republicans to voice bias concerns against conservatives on social media. .


Expect questions about Amazon using vendor data to make competing products.

Some members of the Judiciary Committee were outraged when investigations found that Amazon had used data from some of its sellers to create its own product line. Senator Elizabeth Warren, a Democrat from Massachusetts, criticized the company for managing a market while creating products to compete with third-party vendors.

“You can be the referee in the baseball game or you can have a team, but you can’t do both at the same time,” Warren said. “We need to enforce our antitrust laws. Break these giant companies that are dominating: great technology, great pharmacy, great oil. all of them.”

But last week, Amazon released a study on small businesses saying that sales from outside vendors grew 26 percent in the past year, outpacing Amazon’s sales directly to consumers.


You could ask Apple about suppressing competition through its app store.

Some companies, such as Spotify, have sent questions to the committee about Apple’s dominance of their app store, the only market for apps on iPhones. Blix, a company whose email app competes with Apple, sent questions to the committee, including one about why Apple ranked its own apps above those of its rivals in the app store, according to the New York Times.

The EU is now investigating possible antitrust issues with Apple, such as Apple’s complicated process for its app market, its 30 percent commission on digital purchases that consumers make through apps.

Facebook hoped to position itself as the patriotic alternative to TikTok

According to reports, Zuckerberg’s testimony will paint Facebook as the American-made counterweight to China-based TikTok, a popular video app that lawmakers believe could pose a threat to national security.

Facebook’s chief operating officer Sheryl Sandberg has previously argued that even if Facebook breaks up, its Chinese competitors will not.

Lawmakers cannot buy that argument. Representative Ken Buck, Republican of Colorado, a member of the Antimonopoly Subcommittee, introduced an amendment to the defense bill that bans TikTok on government devices. The bill was recently passed by the House.

“I am very concerned about China and its influence, but I think that is a completely different story,” Buck told CNBC. “If we allow our technology companies to grow so much that they stifle innovation in this country, we will never be able to compete with China because that is what really separates us from China, it is our ability to innovate and move forward.”

You could ask Google about leveraging your domain in the search market.

Questions to Google could focus on whether the company favors its own products or suppresses competing options through its dominance in search and digital advertising.

But Google has said the search and advertising markets it dominates are changing rapidly: The company’s lobbyists have said that more than half of all product searches start on Amazon.


British regulators have recently said they want new rules to boost competition in the digital advertising markets and control Google and Facebook. The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) said it was concerned that the two companies have developed “market positions so impregnable” that rivals cannot compete on equal terms, resulting in higher prices for hotels, flights, products electronic, insurance and other goods and services that are widely advertised online.