In his highly anticipated appearance before Congress on Wednesday (July 29), Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg is expected to say that the social media mega-company is an American success story.
Sources told Bloomberg News that the Facebook founder will tell the House Judiciary Committee’s Subcommittee on Antitrust, Commercial and Administrative Law that the global competitive market is threatened by the rise of Chinese social media apps. He is also likely to talk about Facebook’s advertising rivals, including Google, Amazon and social media competitors Twitter and TikTok.
The Facebook CEO, along with Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, Apple CEO Tim Cook and Google CEO Sundar Pichai will face antitrust questions by the Congressional subcommittee exploring competitive practices among the four giant tech firms.
Lawmakers have raised concerns that the companies have used their market position to eliminate competition and maintain market domination, leading to negative consequences for consumers, including higher prices and fewer choices.
Congressional investigators said they have collected thousands of internal Facebook documents to determine its reason for buying Instagram and WhatsApp, the news service reported. Instagram had just 13 employees and no revenue when Facebook acquired it in 2012.
At a 2019 hearing about Libra, Facebook’s entree into cryptocurrency, Zuckerberg said: “China is moving quickly to launch a similar idea in the coming months. If America doesn’t innovate, our financial leadership is not guaranteed.”
Last week, PYMNTS reported that the Congressional report on alleged antitrust violations by the nation’s largest technology companies could be issued soon. In a phone call with reporters last week, senior aides from the House Judiciary Committee and the antitrust subcommittee said the panel has received 1.3 million documents from the companies, and that the final report could come later this summer or early fall.
Zuckerberg could be required to testify before the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) as it investigates whether the California-based social media conglomerate has violated U.S. antitrust laws.
Facebook insists that its innovations offer expanded choices to consumers. While the FTC has been examining whether Facebook has engaged in unlawful monopolistic practices, the Department of Justice (DOJ) is also investigating online platforms over antitrust concerns.