The top chief executives from Amazon, Apple, Facebook, and Google will all appear before Congress in late July for an antitrust hearing, according to Recode’s Kara Swisher.
Most of the tech giants have appeared before Congress in the past, some multiple times, on an array of issues ranging from data mining to political bias, but this hearing would be the first on antitrust concerns. According to Swisher, Amazon’s Jeff Bezos, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, Google’s Sundar Pichai, and Apple head Tim Cook will all participate in the hearing.
Last year, the Justice Department announced it would be opening an antitrust review of the country’s biggest tech companies in an effort to examine their dominance in internet search, social media, and retail.
In June, Zuckerberg and Pichai said they were willing to openly testify before Congress on the issue of antitrust following reports that the Justice Department was gearing up to hit Big Tech with a lawsuit this summer. It would also be Jeff Bezos’s first time before lawmakers.
SCOOP: You can officially call it Techopalooza. Rep. David Cicilline has told me in an interview today the four CEOs of the most powerful tech companies in the world – Apple, Facebook, Google and Amazon – have agreed to appear at a late July hearing on antitrust. Column coming!
— Kara Swisher (@karaswisher) July 1, 2020
An Amazon spokesperson pointed to reporting last month that said Bezos will make himself available to testify before the committee, but would not confirm the late July hearing or what day it would take place.
Apple, Facebook, and Google did not immediately respond to requests for comment made by Digital Trends. We will update this story when we hear back.
Lawmakers from both sides of the political aisle have been attempting to rein in Big Tech for years. In February, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) said it would be working in conjunction with the Justice Department to study the past mergers and acquisitions by Big Tech companies to determine whether they broke any antitrust laws.
President Donald Trump’s administration has made Big Tech a target since day one, and the president himself has tangled with the four tech CEOs on Twitter. In May, Trump signed an executive order on social media, furthering his goal to regulate the industry.
Digital Trends reached out to Rep. David Cicilline’s (D-Rhode Island) office to see when the antitrust hearing would take place but did not immediately hear back.
July’s hearing will undoubtedly be the most public forum for lawmakers to grill the world’s most powerful tech executives on the many reports that they threaten competition, stiff rivals, and monopolize markets, all while giving consumers little outside options.
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