Lawmakers at the Capitol Hill will convene a mega-hearing, a very rare occasion indeed, in which they will gather Amazon, Apple, Facebook and Google chief executive officers all in one place.The objective of the said investigative call for collectivism is targeted at researching whether or not these companies played oligopoly in the online marketplace, in a collusion of sorts.
This is the biggest conglomerate congressional pillage since 1998, when it was Bill Gates’ moment of shame in similar charges of stifling the market’s yearlings.The four personnel will be put alongside each other, in which they will do so by being placed inside screens.
Following public health protocols, the hearing will be convened in a manner of virtual attendance, using WebEx.It is set to begin at noon, Eastern Time.
The investigation is based on a congressional research of over more than 13-month of probing.Among other things, Amazon is under scrutiny for its use of seller data; Apple, over its app store policies; Facebook, for its acquisition strategy and its dominance in online advertising; and Google, for its own practices in search and advertising.
For their part, the companies are expected to argue that they have helped countless entrepreneurs and small businesses, and have made America a leader in innovation amid rising competition from China.
The high-profile event has all the makings for a spectacle.
But any fireworks will simply reflect the underlying stakes for these tech titans, who face multiple probes by regulators at the federal and state levels, as well as overseas.Those investigations could lead to lawsuits, fines or other consequences for what have become the world’s biggest, wealthiest corporations.
The tech companies are expected to play up the benefits they’ve provided to American businesses and consumers, and point to the competitive threat posed by China.
A copy of Zuckerberg’s testimony shows the Facebook founder will argue that unlike China and its vision for the internet, which is “focused on very different ideas,” Facebook arrived at its success “the American way: we started with nothing and provided better products that people find valuable.
As for Congress, the hearing will likely lead to a report by the House Judiciary Committee’s antitrust panel, followed by possible legislation to rein in the tech industry or to revise the nation’s competition laws.
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