Four CEOs tech giants Americans, Facebook, Google, Amazon y Apple, are presented this Wednesday before a commission of the United States Congress who investigates whether their signatures abuse their position dominant in the market. Mark Zuckerberg (Facebook), Jeff Bezos (Amazon), Sundar Pichai (Alphabet, Google matrix) and Tim Cook (Apple) will respond to the House Judiciary Committee remotely due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Both Zuckerberg and Bezos will defend the “success” of their firms in a world of fierce competition. The first one will argue that Facebook would not have been successful without the American laws that promote competitionbut what internet rules now they need an update. “Facebook is a proudly American company,” Zuckerberg will say according to the excerpts from his statement to which the AFP agency has had access. “Our history would not have been possible without American laws that foster competition and innovation,” he added.
The creator of Facebook will urge the US authorities to “update internet rules“in terms of content moderation. And he will anticipate the criticism he has received mainly from Democrats and civil organizations that consider this social network too lax in the face of messages from the extreme right or from offensive comments by Donald Trump:” In Ultimately, I think companies shouldn’t make as many judgments on important issues like harmful content, privacy and electoral integrity on their own, “he said according to the excerpts.
The Facebook CEO will also appeal to economic patriotism of legislators. “We believe in certain values - democracy, competition, inclusion, freedom of expression – on which the American economy has been built,” he will say. “There is no guarantee that our values will prevail. China, for example, builds its own version of the internet on very different ideas and exports that vision to other countries.” Zuckerberg had already used this argument before the Lower House Finance Committee last October, in a hearing on his virtual currency project.
Zuckerberg has transformed, via acquisitions, his social network into an empire made up of two platforms (Facebook and Instagram), two couriers (Messenger y WhatsApp) and other derived products, from professional services to video game. Those four applications have reached 3,000 million users per month this year. Thanks to them, it has an enormous capacity to collect and analyze data of consumers, something essential for digital advertising, a sector that is widely dominated by Facebook and Google.
For his part, Bezos has pointed out that “Amazon should be examined” by legislators, like any large organization, but has defended the management of his company: “When you look in the mirror, you weigh the criticism and still think you are doing what Right, there is no force in the world that is capable of bending it. ” This will be the first time that Bezos testifies before Congress.
The hearing before the Judiciary Committee will focus on whether the four internet giants apply monopoly practices. The antitrust laws America makes it difficult for regulators to take action against companies simply because they are big or dominant if they cannot demonstrate that they harm consumers or abuse their market power.