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US: Tech Giants faced lawmakers at 3 hearings

 |  July 16, 2019

The nation’s biggest tech companies—Google, Facebook, Amazon, and Apple—faced House Judiciary hearings on how their market power affects competition.

In three hearings, which were focused on Facebook’s cryptocurrency plans, alleged Google censorship, as well as on an antitrust examination of Facebook, Google, its owner Alphabet, Amazon, and Apple, companies took punches on a range of political and policy issues, reported the Wall Street Journal.

“In an effort to promote and continue this new economy, Congress and antitrust enforcers allowed these firms to regulate themselves with little oversight,” said House Antitrust Subcommittee Chairman David Cicilline (Democrat – Rhode Island) at the outset of a hearing featuring executives from the four US tech giants, the Journal reported. “But as a result, the internet has become increasingly concentrated, less open and growingly hostile to innovation and entrepreneurship.”

In their testimonies, the companies claimed that they still face competition in markets from advertising to apps, and that their online platforms have facilitated the growth of many other smaller companies.

“We have helped reduce prices and expand choice for consumers and merchants in the U.S. and around the world,” said Adam Cohen, Google’s director of economic policy. Mr. Cicilline’s hearing raises the prospect of Big Tech’s worst fear: actions to break them up or fundamentally restrict their business models.

Full Content: Wall Street Journal

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