Digital monopoly? Google, Facebook, Amazon and Apple hearing delayed

Daniel Fowler
July 26, 2020

Monday was set to be a historic day.

WASHINGTON (AP) - Four Big Tech CEOs - Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg, Amazon's Jeff Bezos, Google's Sundar Pichai and Apple's Tim Cook - will answer for their companies' practices before Congress at a hearing Wednesday by the House Judiciary subcommittee on antitrust. However, the hearing is now officially postponed, according to the committee.

The panel had expected to question the CEOs of the four companies at a Monday hearing, but it has been delayed due to the death of Rep. John Lewis, who will lie in state at the Capitol next week.

A scheduling conflict was to blame for the delay. A new date for the hearing has not yet been confirmed, the source had said.

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The hearing, where the executives will testify virtually, is the most high-profile showdown yet between tech executives and lawmakers, who are increasingly frustrated with the technology industry.

Apple's App Store is being scrutinized by regulators in the USA and Europe, after some developers have complained for years about high fees, overly strict rules and that the company's own apps have an unfair advantage on its platform and devices.

The companies all face antitrust investigations by federal enforcers, as well as a yearlong probe by the House which is likely to end with recommended changes to competition law. Sonos CEO Patrick Spence told lawmakers that Google tried to restrict his company's innovations and wanted insights into Sonos' future product plans. David Barnett, CEO of PopSockets, blasted Amazon for ignoring issues about counterfeit that he'd raised for months, bullying him to lower his prices. Bezos agreed to appear in June.

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