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US lawmakers batter Big Tech CEOs on issue of competition

Source: ANI  -  Edited By: Roshneesh Kmaneck
July 30, 2020 09:48 IST
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The CEOs of four tech giants -- Amazon, Apple, Facebook and Google -- appeared before the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Antitrust, Commercial, and Administrative Law on Wednesday to address concerns that their businesses may be harming competition.

IMAGE: Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, Google CEO Sundar Pichai and Apple CEO Tim Cook all raise their hands to be sworn in to testify remotely via videoconference during a US House Judiciary Subcommittee on Antitrust, Commercial and Administrative Law hearing on "Online Platforms and Market Power" in Washington, US. Photograph: US House Judiciary Committee/Reuters

According to a CNN report, during the hearing, Mark Zuckerberg was pressed on a video that went viral this week containing false and misleading claims about coronavirus. "Doesn't that suggest, Mr Zuckerberg, your platform is so big that even with the right policies in place, you can't contain deadly content?" Representative Cicilline asked.


"We have, on COVID misinformation in particular, a relatively good track record of fighting and taking down lots of false content," Zuckerberg was quoted as saying, "as well as putting up authoritative information. We have built a Covid information center with authoritative information from health officials."

Representative Kelly Armstrong asked Jeff Bezos a series of important questions about how Amazon uses data from third-party sellers, reported CNN.

IMAGE: Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg speaks via video conference during the hearing in the Rayburn House office Building on Capitol Hill, in Washington. Photograph: Graeme Jennings/Pool/Reuters

As per the report, Armstrong drilled down, getting Bezos to concede that "aggregate" could mean as few as two sellers -- implying that it might be possible for employees to guess at which data was whose when trying to position Amazon products more advantageously.

In his remarks, Apple CEO Tim Cook said that the company "is a uniquely American company whose success is only possible in this country."

House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler questioned to Mark Zuckerberg if Instagram should be broken off from Facebook.

IMAGE: Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos testifies during the hearing. Photograph: Graeme Jennings/Pool/Reuters

"In hindsight, it looks obvious that Instagram reached the scale it has. At the time, it was far from obvious," Zuckerberg told the committee.

According to a Sputnik report, during the hearing, Sunder Pichai also said that Google is not giving any significant advanced technology support to Chinese armed forces.

IMAGE: Google CEO Sundar Pichai testifies before the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Antitrust, Commercial and Administrative Law. Photograph: Mandel Ngan/Pool/Reuters

"We are not working with the Chinese military: It is absolutely false," Pichai told the hearing, according to Sputnik. "We are deeply committed to supporting the US military and the US government."

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Source: ANI  -  Edited By: Roshneesh Kmaneck