Facebook, Apple, Google and Amazon to testify on antitrust and competition

The hearing aims to discuss the tremendous market power wielded by online platforms.

Executives from Amazon.com Inc , Apple Inc , Facebook Inc and Alphabet's Google will testify before a House of Representatives congressional committee next week in a hearing to discuss the tremendous market power wielded by online platforms.

In a statement on Tuesday, the House Judiciary Committee's antitrust subcommittee said witnesses would include: Adam Cohen, director of economic policy at Google; Nate Sutton, associate general counsel for regulation at Amazon; Facebook's Matt Perault, head of global policy development and Apple vice president for corporate law Kyle Andeer.

The hearing will be held on Tuesday, 16 July, the advisory said.

Apple and Google did not respond to a request for comment. Facebook had no immediate comment.

Amazon spokeswoman Jodi Seth said they will testify, but did not share details.

Separately, the Senate Constitution subcommittee said in a notice on Tuesday that it had also scheduled a hearing for 16 July entitled "Google and Censorship though Search Engines." It was not immediately clear who would attend.

(Also read: Facebook Libra: cryptocurrency debate in India needs to have a more informed approach)

Facebook, Apple, Google and Amazon to testify on antitrust and competition

Social media apps.

The hearings come as the House Judiciary Committee is probing competition in digital markets as part of an investigation announced last month, with both Republicans and Democrats expressing concern about the power exercised by several of the world's most valuable companies.

The executive branch has antitrust probes underway with the Justice Department looking at Google and Apple while the FTC probes Facebook and Amazon.

The hearing also comes at a time when both Republicans and Democrats have expressed exasperation with the big tech giants, but for different reasons.

Conservatives have complained that social media companies try to diminish their voices online while progressives like presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren have called for Amazon, Google and Facebook to sell companies that they purchased previously as a way to address competition concerns.

Furthermore, Facebook is expected to pay a $5 billion penalty for its work with a consultancy firm Cambridge Analytica, which obtained data from millions of Facebook users without their permission. Cambridge was hired by President Donald Trump for his 2016 US presidential election campaign.

 

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