Amazon, Facebook, Google and Apple Faced Trial before the U.S Congress
Last week, President Donald Trump has declared war on social networks, especially Twitter , since the latter marked some of his tweets with warnings for spreading false information about the elections, something that violates the rules of use of the platform. Facebook has been more cautious when it comes to limiting content disclosed by Trump that could violate its rules of use on its platform. The sword that Trump hangs over the heads of digital platforms like Facebook, Twitter or YouTube is section 230 of the Communications Decency Act of 1996, which states that a social network cannot be treated as a “publisher”.
On Thursday, The CEO of Google, Sundar Pichai; Amazon, Jeff Bezos; Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg; and Apple, Tim Cook , faced a hearing before the United States Congress to question them about their dominant position and possible attacks on free competition. The heads of the world’s four big tech companies answer questions from the House of Representatives Judiciary Committee , which has investigated for a year the impact on competition of these four tech giants dominating markets such as online ads, search , e-commerce, social networks, messaging and mobile hardware and software.
Apple, Google, Facebook & Amazon hearing: what you need to know
Lawmakers questioned Sundar Pichai (Google), Jeff Bezos (Amazon), Mark Zuckerberg (Facebook), and Tim Cook (Apple) about their dominant power in markets such as online advertising, e-commerce, and social media. Amazon, for example, dominates much of the world’s e-commerce , as well as the significant data center and cloud sector with Amazon Web Services. Google is the gateway to the Internet and owns the most used mobile operating system; Facebook is the conglomerate through which many of the planet’s inhabitants receive information or share information, and Apple controls around a quarter of the smartphone market and a tenth of the computer market. This is the most important audience for the technology sector since two decades ago the United States government tried to cut Microsoft for its dominant position and brings the echoes of when in the 90s the big tobacco companies sat down to answer about tobacco addiction and the industry was left forever reformed.
“In short, they have too much power,”
said the president of the antitrust commission of the Judiciary of the House of Representatives, David Cicilline.
“Whether by privileging themselves, setting predatory prices, or driving users to buy additional products, the dominant platforms have destructively and detrimentally exercised their power to expand,” said the Democratic congressman.
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