Big Tech CEOs Will Head To Capitol Hill On Wednesday

Reshaping Of Big Tech's Antitrust Regulations

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, Apple CEO Tim Cook, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and Google CEO Sundar Pichai are now scheduled to appear before a Congressional subcommittee exploring competitive practices among Big Tech Wednesday (July 29) instead of Monday (July 27) as originally planned.

The House Judiciary Committee’s Subcommittee on Antitrust, Commercial and Administrative Law’s change is reflected in an online scheduled updated this weekend. The apparent, though unstated, reason is Monday’s memorial at the Capitol for the late U.S. Rep. John Lewis of Georgia.

The hearing’s official subject is: “Online Platforms and Market Power, Part 6: Examining the Dominance of Amazon, Apple, Facebook, and Google.”

A House rule invoked for the session will allow members of Congress and witnesses to testify remotely.

The exact time of Wednesday’s hearing will depend on prior proceedings, but the tentative start time is noon. The proceedings should be available for live online viewing.

In a joint statement three week ago announcing the hearing, House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler of New York and Antitrust Subcommittee Chairman David Cicilline of Rhode Island said: “Since last June, the Subcommittee has been investigating the dominance of a small number of digital platforms and the adequacy of existing antitrust laws and enforcement. Given the central role these corporations play in the lives of the American people, it is critical that their CEOs are forthcoming. As we have said from the start, their testimony is essential for us to complete this investigation.”

Amazon is expected to discuss the pandemic and how consumers are using digital channels to shop at major retailers, including Walmart, which is Amazon’s competitor. Apple will face scrutiny over its App Store — and what players it allows in. Facebook will probably talk about its rivals when it comes to advertising, like Google and Amazon, and when it comes to social media, like Twitter and TikTok. It is unclear what arguments Google will make.

Congress could release a report on alleged antitrust violations by major technology companies by the end of the summer.