Big Tech CEOs Release Opening Statements Before Antitrust Hearing
The big tech antitrust hearing with the House Judiciary Committee is set to occur tomorrow, July 29th at 12PM ET. But all four CEOs — Jeff Bezos of Amazon, Sundar Pichai of Google, Tim Cook of Apple, Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook — have released their opening statements early. In all of them, the CEOs attempted to make the case that as successful as their companies are, they do not represent a monopolistic force in the industry. It will be Bezos’s first time testifying before the House.
Unsurprisingly, Bezos, Pichai, Zuckerberg and Cook claimed that their businesses are good for the American economy. Bezos, for example, said that Amazon is often a source of revenue for small and medium-sized businesses. Similarly, Pichai said that Google often provides advertising, revenue and assistance for small businesses, and invests significantly in new technologies that could help advance breakthroughs in medicine and science. Cook mentioned that the App Store ecosystem facilitated over $138 billion in the US economy in 2019, as well as half a trillion worldwide. Zuckerberg made his usual case that Facebook is instrumental in connecting the world, which he claims is a global good.
All three CEOs also took the time to address antitrust concerns that their companies are far too dominant. For example, Bezos pointed out that Amazon has competition from the likes of Walmart, Target and Costco that offer curbside pickup, which he says gives them a certain advantage. Like Bezos, Pichai made the claim that Google has plenty of rivals in the form of Alexa, Twitter, Instagram, Whatsapp and Pinterest among others. Cook said that while the iPhone is a “revolutionary” product, it also faces plenty of stiff competition from the likes of Samsung, LG, Huawei and Google. Though Zuckerberg didn’t name-check any rivals in particular, he did say that Facebook faces “significant” global competition, including from the other “companies appearing at this hearing.”
The primary concern of this big antitrust hearing is that the tech giants are suppressing competition. House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler and Antitrust Subcommittee Chairman David Cicilline said thusly:
“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. 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.”
You can read their full opening statements here. The testimonies will take place tomorrow via video conference, and will be livestreamed on YouTube.