The Big-Tech hearing has been delayed until 1230-1300ET as the Judiciary Committee attempted to complete another hearing on immigration. - realconservativesunite

Big Tech Firms Enjoy “Monopoly Power”, Should Be “Heavily Regulated”

Update (1155ET): The Big-Tech hearing has been delayed until 1230-1300ET as the Judiciary Committee attempted to complete another hearing on immigration.

The CEOs of Amazon, Google, Apple and Facebook will testify before House lawmakers over allegations of anti-competitive practices. For members of the House Judiciary antitrust subcommittee, it will be their sixth hearing in their investigation into Silicon Valley antitrust accusations.

Watch Live (the ‘virtual’ hearing is due to start at 1200ET):

The four CEOs have now released their prepared remarks.

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos:

Apple CEO Tim Cook:

Google CEO Sundar Pichai:

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg:

Composite photo via Business Insider
Composite photo via Business Insider

As Politico notes, “The session also arrives as scrutiny of the behemoths is surging across the globe, including an expected Justice Department antitrust case against Google and the recent launch of two European probes of potential anticompetitive behavior by Apple.”

It will also mark the first time Jeff Bezos, the world’s richest person, has offered testimony before Congress – albeit via videoconference, while House Judiciary lawmakers will attend both virtually and in-person in a hybrid format, according to the report.

That said, today’s ‘showdown’ could go one of two ways; fireworks, or snoozefest. If House Democrats jump off script from antitrust issues and press the CEOs over online hate speech, or if GOP members drill them on anti-conservative bias, things could get interesting.

Even the format of the questioning – four elite CEOs, all appearing by videoconference because of the coronavirus pandemic – could make it harder for the members to land a glove on the companies’ varied issues, ranging from Google’s and Facebook’s command of digital ad revenue to Apple’s control of its App Store and questions about whether Amazon misled Congress. –Politico

“The discussion will go well beyond antitrust,” said Carl Szabo, VP and General Counsel of NetChoice, a tech trade group which counts Google, Amazon and Facebook as members. “It will go into issues of election interference, or conservative bias, or any of the other issues de jour on which we like to saddle tech.”

As we detailed previously, here’s what to expect assuming things go according to plan:

Lawmakers will likely question Bezos about whether an Amazon lawyer misled the Judiciary Committee last summer by claiming the company doesn’t use data collected from third-party vendors to launch competing products of its own.

In fact, according to the Wall Street Journal, Amazon employees did just that – which prompted Judiciary leaders to question whether a criminal referral was appropriate for perjury charges. The company disputed WSJ‘s report, and said it did not ‘intentionally mislead’ the Committee – while also promising to conduct an internal investigation.

Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg will likely face questions over acquisitions of former rivals WhatsApp and Instagram, while Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) and others have called for regulators to break up the social media giant.

Other items of inquiry will include how Facebook handles its trove of data collected from more than 2 billion users, including whether it is for anticompetitive purposes.

“There’s a real fear that no other competitor could ever successfully launch a social media platform because it could never match Facebook’s troves of data, which, given their record, it’s a serious threat to users,” Rep. Joe Neguse (D-CO) told Politico.

Google’s Sundar Pichai will have to answer for whether the company amplifies its own search services to the detriment of competitors and consumers seeking maps, videos or other services.

Separately, questions will be asked over whether their domination of online advertising has harmed smaller businesses as well as news outlets.

The committee has also accused the company of being less than forthright in its past testimony, including on questions such as what percentage of searches on the company’s engine lead to website referrals not on Google.

Google has separately been a frequent target of Republican allegations of anti-conservative bias on its video sharing platform YouTube, a topic that is expected to come up again at Monday’s hearing. Google and other major tech platforms deny those charges. Democrats, meanwhile, have taken issue with the company’s handling of hate speech and misinformation on YouTube. –Politico

Lastly, Apple CEO Tim Cook will face questions over how the company has handled its app store.

Because of the market power that Apple has, it is charging exorbitant rents — highway robbery, basically — bullying people to pay 30 percent or denying access to their market,” Rep. David Cicilline (D-RI) told The Verge in June. “It’s crushing small developers who simply can’t survive with those kinds of payments. If there were real competition in this marketplace, this wouldn’t happen.

via zerohedge

10 comments

  1. The core monopoly that enables all these other crony capitalist monopolies, strangulation of the free market, riots & reigns of terror is the fraudulent vampire banksters like the Fedetal Reserve & IR. No amount of regulation or laws will stop these monsters, only

  2. They are all communists and have bought into the 16 yr Clinton plan to kill off 90% of us useless eaters. Too bad for them they will be eating each other at GITMO!

  3. You have an industry that has more money and control of all information than anyone in the world, and that industry has no oversight or regulation!? What in hell did you think would happen???? Oh, and dont forget, these monopolies are controlled exclusively by liberals!

  4. The worst by far is Zuckerberg – who STOLE the idea for Facebook from 2 seniors while he was a freshman at Harvard. More corruption from Harvard – “say it isn’t so Joe – say it isn’t so”

  5. THEY ALL NEED TO BE SHUT DOWN PERMANENTLY! THEY ARE ALL TRAITORS AND INSURRECTIONIST! THEY ARE COMMUNIST WHO ARE TRYING TO DESTROY AMERICA! THEIR SEARCH ENGINES AND SOCIAL MEDIA PLATFORMS ARE ALL SEDICIOUS BULLSH*T AND ARE A CLEAR AND PRESENT DANGER TO AMERICA AND HER CONSTITUTION! TAKE ALL THESE COMMUNIST GARBAGE DOWN FOR TREASON!

  6. It is about time these Monster are called. These people could care LESS about America, it is all about $$$. These DEGENERATE POS need to be brought down to size once and for all. There is nothing positive about either one of these, their letters mean absolutely nothing and they MUST be HEAVILY REGULATED. They should ALL be spending a long time at GITMO and should pay financially and physically for all the corruption, lies and BS their products represent. Allowing these ANIMALS to continue without massive regulations will support the destruction of America.

  7. I watched part of the “hearing”. I thought the members of the committee did a piss-poor job of questioning these tech giants, especially the republicans. All the demonrats pandered to them, but only a few Republicans held their feet to the fire. There are too many politicians being paid-off by these tech companies.
    I hope Trump does away with their monopoly powers, or at least opens them up to law suits for their control of conservative free speech. Maybe he can get a conservative congress in November, and be able to rewrite the tech company “privileges”. They should have NEVER been given free reign in the first place (but you know how politicians LOVE money!).

  8. President Trump needs to issue an executive order directing internet companies turn off and remove all censoring software, algorithms, etc. from their computer systems and each internet firm certify to the Department of Justice that there is no censoring software operating on their platforms, and verified by random user tests. Pres. Trump needs to issue the order immediately, and let his attorney general, the DOJ and the FCC fight it out with the internet companies. The internet companies need to be regulated just like phone companies (common carriers). We don’t get cut off speaking to others on our telephones criticizing public officials or policy because telephones are regulated; the same needs to happen immediately on the internet.

    in 1983, AT&T was broken up by the Department of Justice. Perhaps it’s high time to break up Amazon,. Facebook, Google, Twitter, You Tube, and other internet companies….

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