Leaders of House antitrust investigation to meet with Zuckerberg

Leaders of House antitrust investigation to meet with Zuckerberg
© Greg Nash

House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold NadlerJerrold (Jerry) Lewis NadlerBarr to speak at Notre Dame law school on Friday The 13 House Democrats who back Kavanaugh's impeachment Ignore the hype — this is not an impeachment inquiry MORE (D-N.Y.) and Rep. David CicillineDavid Nicola CicillineCelebrating the LGBTQ contribution to progress in business The Memo: Trump's rage may backfire on impeachment Top House Democrat: Trump did 'on camera' what Romney warned about MORE (D-R.I.) are set to meet with Facebook CEO Mark ZuckerbergMark Elliot ZuckerbergHillicon Valley: Warren takes on Facebook over political ads | Zuckerberg defends meetings with conservatives | Civil liberties groups sound alarm over online extremism bill Zuckerberg defends meetings with conservative politicians, pundits Warren targets Facebook with ad claiming Zuckerberg supports Trump MORE on Friday as the panel forges ahead of its antitrust investigation of Big Tech, a person familiar not authorized to speak on the record confirmed to The Hill.

The meeting comes as Zuckerberg continues to make the rounds in Washington, D.C., to defend his company amid escalating government scrutiny.

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Zuckerberg is set to meet separately with Rep. Doug CollinsDouglas (Doug) Allen CollinsUS, UK sign agreement allowing British authorities to quickly obtain data from tech giants Joe Lieberman's son running for Senate in Georgia GOP rep: Pelosi would allow floor vote if this were a 'true' impeachment inquiry MORE (R-Ga.), the top Republican on the Judiciary Committee, a source familiar with the meeting told The Hill.

According to Facebook, the embattled tech executive is in town to discuss "future Internet regulation" with policymakers – including the president. Zuckerberg met with President TrumpDonald John TrumpBusiness school deans call for lifting country-specific visa caps Bolton told ex-Trump aide to call White House lawyers about Ukraine pressure campaign: report Federal prosecutors in New York examining Giuliani business dealings with Ukraine: report MORE on Thursday after huddling behind closed doors with several key Republican lawmakers, including some of his most vociferous critics.

On Friday, Zuckerberg will meet with Nadler, Cicilline and Collins just a week after the lawmakers submitted a slew of document requests to all of the country's top tech companies, including Facebook.

Nadler's office did not immediately respond to The Hill's request for comment. Cicilline's office declined to comment.

The bipartisan leaders of the Judiciary antitrust subcommittee sent letters to Amazon, Apple, Facebook and Google seeking internal communications and documents last week.

The panel is requesting communications among each company’s executives, records that were handed over in past antitrust investigations and internal documents detailing their organizational structures. The lawmakers gave each company a deadline of Oct. 14.

Those documents could ultimately bolster the panel's antitrust investigation into the digital marketplace, which was announced earlier this year.

In a statement at the time, Nadler said a "handful of corporations" are controlling an "outsized share of online commerce and communications.

“It is increasingly difficult to use the Internet without relying on these services,” Nadler said. “The documents requested will provide the Committee with a better understanding of the degree to which these intermediaries enjoy market power, how they are using that market power, whether they are using their market power in ways that have harmed consumers and competition, and how Congress should respond.”

The Washington Post first reported Zuckerberg's upcoming meeting with the House antitrust investigators.

Cicilline has been among Zuckerberg's top critics in Congress, hammering the tech executive for his company's market dominance and series of privacy breaches.

Zuckerberg's charm offensive in Washington, which has been described by some as a listening tour, comes as several government bodies have ratcheted up their investigations into Facebook over antitrust and privacy issues.

Facebook described Zuckerberg's meeting with Trump, who has accused the company of routinely censoring right-wing voices, as "constructive."