Facebook Negotiates Sandberg DC Hearing Testimony


With questions surrounding Facebook’s market power and its plans for the Libra digital currency, the social media company is reportedly negotiating with an important congressional committee for COO Sheryl Sandberg to testify as early as October.

Officials, however, are still working out the details with the House Financial Services Committee, according to Bloomberg.

It was reported that the hearing could happen later in the year. A House Financial Services Committee spokesperson did not immediately reply to a comment request from the outlet, while Facebook would not comment. The appearance of Sandberg would come after July hearings with David Marcus, Libra co-creator and Facebook executive.

He faced pointed questions from the Senate as well as the House about whether Facebook could be trusted to make a digital currency and if Libra might be used for nefarious means. The social media company had announced earlier this year that it was aiming to create a new cryptocurrency using bitcoin-like technology. The company helped build the Libra Association, a new organization incorporated in Switzerland, that would manage the currency.

The news comes as Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook’s chief executive officer, concluded three days of discussions this month with movers and shakers in Washington, D.C. Sen. Mark Warner of Virginia arranged for a dinner with the social media executive with other senators and said, “Facebook leadership realizes that failure to have federal legislation [on internet issues] is actually going to hurt them and the whole platform industry in the long run.”

And, another legislator, Sen. Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut, said after the dinner that he had brought up the “repeated failures” of the firm in election security as well as consumer privacy. However, he said, “We had [a] serious, substantive conversation even when we may have differed.”

Sen. Josh Hawley of Missouri wanted Facebook to sell its WhatsApp and Instagram units that could limit the data it could compile in regard to a person.

“Safe to say he was not receptive to those suggestions,” Hawley said.