ANTITRUST

House To Grill Google, Amazon, Facebook On SMB Impact

Big Tech Faces Yet Another Congressional Hearing

Big tech companies Facebook, Google and Amazon are going to be the subject of a new congressional hearing, in addition to the series of investigations ongoing from regulators and lawmakers already in motion, according to a report by Bloomberg.

House Small Business Committee Chairwoman Nydia Velázquez is going to ask Facebook, Google and Amazon to the capital in either late October or early November to talk about whether or not they’re hurting small businesses with their practices.

Big Tech is already facing probes from the Federal Trade Commission, the Justice Department and the House Antitrust Subcommittee

“Chairwoman Velázquez believes that small businesses deserve to compete on a level playing field and hopes the hearing will be an opportunity for the committee to examine how small businesses are faring given the dominance of big tech companies in areas ranging from eCommerce to internet traffic,” said Evelyn Quartz, a spokeswoman for the New York Democrat.

Some of the issues that Velazquez will try to nail down are whether companies promote themselves over small businesses, and whether they’re harming competition — which is a main issue in other inquiries as well.

There will also be a panel in which small businesses can give testimony about how they think they’re being affected.

The newest inquiry shows just how much attention and scrutiny Big Tech is facing from many different directions. Many of the inquiries will overlap in their questions of whether these companies have gotten too big, and are stifling competition.

Already, the House Antitrust Subcommittee has asked for documents from tech companies about their practices and whether they’re harming competition. That probe is being led by Rep. David Cicilline of Rhode Island.

Upwards of 50,000 small and medium sized businesses made more than $500,000 on Amazon last year, the company said. However, they can be at the whim of Amazon if it decides to change its algorithm or search results. Small changes like that can dramatically affect the way a small business makes money.

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