Tech giants to testify at House antitrust hearing

Tech giants to testify at House antitrust hearing
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Executives for Facebook, Google, Amazon and Apple will testify before Congress next week as part of the House Judiciary Committee's antitrust investigation into Silicon Valley.

They will appear for a hearing July 16 that will examine the "impact of market power of online platforms on innovation and entrepreneurship," the panel's antitrust subcommittee announced Tuesday.

The hearing comes as the tech giants have been put on the defensive by regulators around the world concerned over their market power and collection of personal data.

The subcommittee will hear from two panels of witnesses.

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One will feature Adam Cohen, Google's economic policy director; Nate Sutton, Amazon's associate general counsel; Matt Perault, the head of global policy development at Facebook; and Kyle Andeer, Apple's chief compliance officer.

The other panel will be comprised of experts and some of Big Tech's biggest critics. Maureen Ohlhausen, a Republican who recently served as acting chairman of the Federal Trade Commission, will testify, along with Tim Wu, a law professor at Columbia University who has advocated for the government to be more forceful in enforcing antitrust law against Silicon Valley's titans.

It will be the second hearing the panel has held since launching the investigation in June.

The first, in June, examined the effect Silicon Valley has had on the news industry by swallowing up the majority of online advertising revenue.

Rep. David CicillineDavid Nicola CicillineHillicon Valley: Senators unload on Facebook cryptocurrency plan | Trump vows to 'take a look' at Google's ties to China | Google denies working with China's military | Tech execs on defensive at antitrust hearing | Bill would bar business with Huawei Tech giants on defensive at antitrust hearing Critics slam billion Facebook fine as weak MORE (D-R.I.), who chairs the antitrust subcommittee and is leading the investigation, has become one of the most outspoken critics of the large tech companies in Congress. He has said that the probe will help shed light on the industry's business practices and why antitrust enforcers have allowed those companies to grow so large.

At the last hearing, Cicilline attributed the decline of the news industry to companies like Facebook and Google.

“These trends strongly suggest that the decline of the news industry is not the inevitable result of the arrival of the internet but is instead the direct consequence of enforcement choices that have created a market structure where a small number of platforms are capturing the value created by newspapers and publishers,” he said.

Updated at 2:37 p.m.