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Live Coverage: Reps. Conducting House Hearing Fumble Words and Repeatedly Ask Political-Attempted-Gotcha-Questions to Big Tech CEOs

Opinion: It is time to change the antitrust laws and the way these House hearings are administered.

(Noted News)  Objection, leading, compound question, irrelevant political soliloquy, and argumentative!

Hearing examiners fumbled their words, repeatedly asked scripted-loaded-political-gotcha-type questions that fell flat, and cut off the tech company CEOs many times before giving them a fair opportunity to respond.  Some of their follow-up questions were not even tailored to the tech CEOs’ responses.

Also, several of the tricky questions were digs at China and several of the questions posed views not embodied by all Americans.  At the hearing, examiners appear to represent a narrow view.

We need to examine our antitrust laws (which may be outdated, concerning we should be competing with international companies rather than bust up or harm our large domestic companies) rather than criticize these businesses for engaging in alleged anti-competitive actions.  Have you run a business?  A big part of it is based trying to remain competitive in an ever-changing landscape.  Some representatives were blatantly insinuating that some of our strongest companies to not behave like many other companies, and to not act competitively or consider/discuss their competition, or ways to try to remain competitive.  The tech CEOs are getting criticized for using data about competitors to make business plans.  Don’t most successful companies try to learn from industry data what works, what doesn’t, are we up are we down, and can we can improve?

I think we should support our American business, including tech businesses, especially in light of heavy international competition in tech and other industries.  These tech companies, currently taking the political heat, make products, tools, share data and knowledge, and continue to innovate to improve our lives, and may even be able to extend our lives due to assisting advancement in the health care arena.

Think about it.  These hearings are political in nature, are distracting from the real issues facing the U.S., and we should not bust up successful American companies who are at the head of innovation and doing well, like we hope all of our companies will do.

By the way, the CEOs responded eloquently and showed their true intelligence and demonstrates why they are trailblazing.  Bottom line, when these companies do well, others are trying to break them up and pull them down.

There is a disturbing pattern of asking attempted-political-gotcha-questions, allowing the CEOs only a short moment to respond, and then cutting them off and concluding point was made, whether it was or not.

Is anyone else watching this?  The questions are phrased, some in a misleading way, the frame these companies as unfair, scandalous, and embarrassingly, Google’s CEO was singled out, and questioned as whether they were acting American enough or non-American, like something out of a Doctor Seuss book.

Do not let this hearing committee insult your intelligence as the American public, think for yourselves.

The representatives are talking about our tech companies as though they are evil monopolies, but their focus and anger is misplaced.  The world is so much bigger and has changed so much since the enactment of the antitrust laws that discourage American monopolies, when in reality American companies face harsh international competition, so we should not focus on busting up American companies, but instead examine our old antitrust laws and perhaps even shift focus to hot international competition and trying to remain competitive in a global economy (not just a closed national economy).

In my opinion the Representatives are reaching and overstepping, and proposing increased government regulation rather than less government regulation.  Do we want more government regulation implemented?  Is that what is best for us all?  We have a myriad of federal, state, and local laws imposed on our domestic companies.  These are private companies that should be allowed to be treated as such without too much government interference to stomp out or handicap some of our country’s best performing companies.  We should congratulate these companies rather than force them into a witch-hunt type hearing where they are not even given the opportunity to fully respond to many scripted questions, on more than 10 occasions.

Representative Sensenbrenner said he has been there for 42 years and that they do not need to change antitrust laws that they have been working fine.  Yes, up to this point, it is debatable whether antitrust laws have been working fine, but times are continuing to change and U.S. domestic companies’ main threat is from super smart and wealthy international companies.  Gone are the days that our leaders’ focus should just be on competition in this country internally when the economy is so much larger, so we disagree and think it is time to reexamine and change the antitrust laws.  Times have changed and our government and lawmakers should acknowledge that and act in the overall best interest of our domestic companies and people.

At one point a verbal scuffle breaks out on the floor when Representative Mary Gay Scanlon opened her questioning with criticism of some Republicans: “I’d like to redirect your attention to antitrust law rather than fringe conspiracy theories,” she said.

Three Congressmen, Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL), Rep. Buck (R-CO), and Rep. Kelly Armstrong (R-ND) even went so far as to seemingly bully the CEOs and try to force them under oath, on the spot, to make certain future “commitments” to bind their companies.

Collectively, the questions asked by the Representatives show an unsophisticated, outdated, and underdeveloped way of thinking about business, and that is why the old antitrust laws need to be reexamined.

House examiners asked the CEOs if they had looked at data about competitors to make business and product decisions, whether Facebook was trying to take out a competitor when it bought Instagram, which it no doubt was and is fairly common in business, and representatives asked repeatedly if the tech companies had acted competitively against competitors.  If our government is willing to aid foreign companies in that manner, by busting up or heavily regulating some of our country’s most successful companies, then our domestic companies will be out-competed quickly by other international companies such as Samsung, Tiktok, and Huawei.

We now have a global economy and do not need to focus on domestic competition regulation and break-ups as much as trying to remain competitive in a global market and having domestic businesses (survive) that can compete on an global stage.  Let’s talk about it.

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