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Summary Recap of Historic Big Four Tech Hearing

(National Elite) — The historic hearing lasted more than five hours, here is a summary of what you may have missed:

  • Apple, Google, Facebook, and Amazon were represented by their CEOs at the hearing, respectively, Tim Cook, Sundar Pichai, Mark Zuckerburg, and Jeff Bezos
  • The CEOs appeared in Congress today remotely
  • House antitrust chair, Rep. David Cicilline, kicks off the hearing explaining the antitrust investigations and information gathering that leading up to the hearing citing “millions” of pages of evidence from years of antitrust investigations into these companies.
  • Throughout the hearing, Representatives brought up information allegedly obtained from internal documents and conversations with anonymous sources inside the tech companies.
  • Some Republican representatives focused on political issues, such as “slave labor,” Google allegedly assisting China, alleged suppression of Conservative views on Facebook, and accusing Google of not wanting to help the US military on a specific project (even though Google stated they have helped on several other government projects).
  • At least one Representative accused the tech companies of election interference.
  • Facebook faced most intensive criticism over its acquisition of Instagram, among a host of other criticisms.
  • Apple faced most intensive criticism over its App store and whether it blocks competitors from using it, and whether it dropped competitor Apps from the App store, and was grilled about a hypothetical scenario asking what would stop Apple from raising their App fee to 50% (the answer is actual domestic and international competition would prevent that–or most companies would have done that already).
  • Google faced criticism over its advertising policies, treatment of competitors, and was singled out and questioned about their Amiercaness.
  • Amazon faced most intensive criticism over how it treats third-party brands on its site and whether it collects information from them and uses it to develop competing products.
  • Rep. Matt Gaetz repeatedly asked pointed questions about perceived anti-conservative bias among tech companies.  He labeled the Southern Poverty Law Center, an anti-hate group, as a hate group, and asks Bezos why Amazon is partnering with them.
  • Rep. Greg Steube asked each executive to answer whether they believe China steals technology from US firms.
  • Rep. Jim Jordan said many people are experiencing a “cancel culture” mob online in which they are “canceled” or intensely criticized for their beliefs.
  • Rep. David Cicilline closed the hearing with a statement that seemed to suggest legislative action would be coming for the companies who participated today. “These companies as they exist today have monopoly power,” he said. “Some need to be broken up, all need to be properly regulated and held accountable.”
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