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CEOs of top American tech firms to be questioned on July 27 over antitrust hearing

PTI, Jul 7, 2020, 6:53 PM IST

Washington DC: The CEOs of four of the biggest US tech giants, including Google’s Sundar Pichai, will appear virtually for questioning in front of the House Judiciary Committee on July 27 as part of an antitrust hearing to investigate competition in the online marketplace.

Apple’s Tim Cook, Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg, Google’s Pichai and Amazon’s Jeff Bezos will testify before the antitrust panel that is working on proposals to reform and regulate the digital market, the Washingtonexaminer.com reported on Monday.

Jerry Nadler, the chairman of the Democrat-led committee, and David Cicilline, the Democratic leader of the House Judiciary Antitrust Subcommittee said the testimonies of the four CEOs were essential to complete the investigation as they play a central role in the lives of American people.

“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,” Nadler and Cicilline said in a statement.

“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,” the statement said.

The hearing is set for July 27, and under House rules during the coronavirus pandemic, witnesses and members are allowed to appear virtually, the statement said.

Attorney General William Barr said in late June that he would soon decide on “actions” for the Justice Department to take in its broad investigation of Big Tech companies, the Washington Examiner reported on Monday.

The US Justice Department has opened a sweeping antitrust review into online platforms, threatening some of Silicon Valley’s most powerful companies.

Democrats like Senator Elizabeth Warren have said both Facebook and Amazon should be split up. Republicans, too, have raised concerns that major online companies have gained too much power, the report said.

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