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USA: Congress scrutinizes Amazon, Apple, Google, and Facebook in antitrust hearing

Author: Cecilia Kang and David McCabe, New York Times, Published on: 29 July 2020

"Lawmakers, United in Their Ire, Lash Out at Big Tech’s Leaders," 29 July 2020

The chief executives of Amazon, Apple, Google and Facebookfaced withering questions from Republican and Democratic lawmakers…for the tactics and market dominance that had made their enterprises successful.

…Democratic lawmakers criticized the tech companies for buying start-ups to stifle them and for unfairly using their data hoards to clone and kill off competitors, while Republicans questioned whether the platforms had muzzled conservative viewpoints and were unpatriotic.

…[Chief Executives] Mr. Pichai, Mr. Zuckerberg, Mr. Cook and Mr. Bezos…presented themselves as participants in enormously competitive and fast-changing digital marketplaces, and they evaded questions about the decisions that turned their companies into giants.

…[A]ny impact will be limited by antitrust laws that were created a century ago and that are imperfect for corralling internet firms…The tech giants have generally not driven up prices of digital services or consumer goods; many do not charge at all for services like Google Maps or Instagram.

…Regulators around the world are also moving to limit the power of the tech giants. Europe has led the charge with antitrust investigations and…Turkey passed legislation giving its government sweeping new powers to regulate social media content.

[Also refers to: Microsoft, Instagram, Basecamp]

Read the full post here

Related companies: Alphabet Amazon.com Apple Facebook Google (part of Alphabet) Instagram (part of Facebook) Microsoft