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 NadlerNadler: Barr dealings with Berman came 'awfully close to bribery' Nadler wins Democratic primary Voters must strongly reject the president's abuses by voting him out this November MORE (D-N.Y.) and Rep. David CicillineDavid Nicola CicillineNadler: Barr dealings with Berman came 'awfully close to bribery' OVERNIGHT ENERGY: DOJ whistleblower says California emissions probe was 'abuse of authority' | EPA won't defend policy blocking grantees from serving on boards | Minnesota sues Exxon, others over climate change DOJ whistleblower: California emissions probe was 'abuse of authority' MORE (D-R.I.) are set to meet with Facebook CEO Mark ZuckerbergMark Elliot ZuckerbergHillicon Valley: Facebook considers political ad ban | Senators raise concerns over civil rights audit | Amazon reverses on telling workers to delete TikTok Facebook considering ban on political ads: reports Senators raise concerns over Facebook's civil rights audit 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 CollinsThe Hill's Campaign Report: Is Georgia reaching a tipping point? Democrats hope for tidal moment in Georgia with two Senate seats in play Loeffler doubles down against BLM, calls movement 'anti-Semitic' amid continued WNBA blowback 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 TrumpDemocrats blast Trump for commuting Roger Stone: 'The most corrupt president in history' Trump confirms 2018 US cyberattack on Russian troll farm Trump tweets his support for Goya Foods amid boycott 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.”

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."