U.S. lawmakers Wednesday will grill the CEOs of the worlds biggest tech companies, all of whom are under pressure to explain they do not unfairly throttle competitors.
Amazons Jeff Bezos, Apples Tim Cook, Googles Sundar Pichai and Facebooks Mark Zuckerberg will testify together through an online videoconference at 6 p.m. Brussels time. Its the first time the four tech moguls — whose companies are roughly worth a combined $5 trillion — have jointly testified before the U.S. Congress.
The session also arrives as scrutiny of the behemoths is surging across the globe, including an expected U.S. Justice Department antitrust case against Google and the recent launch of two European probes of potential anti-competitive behavior by Apple.
Heres a round-up of POLITICOs coverage ahead of the high-stakes hearing:
How to watch the tech CEOs collision with U.S. Congress, by Cristiano Lima
Whether Wednesdays showdown lives up to its historic billing may depend on a host of factors: The lawmakers could veer far from the antitrust script, into concerns about online hate speech or accusations of anti-conservative bias. Even the format of the questioning could make it harder for the members to land a glove on the companies varied issues.
Zuckerberg: Facebook has more to do on fighting disinformation, by Betsy Woodruff Swan
Mark Zuckerberg will concede to lawmakers that his company has more work to do in combating disinformation and voter suppression. But he will also tout the social media giants importance in national conversations about racial justice, elections and economic concerns. Zuckerbergs opening remarks also make one reference to how the ascent of Chinese tech companies has shaped the industry — and how his company could be a bulwark against them.
The moment of reckoning for the Facebook advertiser boycott, by Steven Overly and Laura Kayali
The organizers of a global Facebook ad boycott have continued to urge advertisers to join the effort throughout July and are pushing to keep the pressure on, though they have not said what form that will take. That decision, they say, will likely be influenced by whether Zuckerberg addresses their concerns Wednesday in his testimony on the Hill or on the companys earnings call.
Amazons Bezos: The world needs giant companies too, by Betsy Woodruff Swan
Jeff Bezos will offer Wednesday a message his fellow tech CEOs will like: size matters. “Just like the world needs small companies, it also needs large ones,” Amazons founder plans to tell lawmakers. “There are things small companies simply cant do. I dont care how good an entrepreneur you are, youre not going to build an all-fiber Boeing 787 in your garage,” the worlds richest person will say.