Tech giant CEOs testify before Congress over monopolizing the market

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Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg speaks via video conference during a hearing of the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Antitrust, Commercial and Administrative Law on "Online Platforms and Market Power," on Capitol Hill, in Washington, U.S., July 29, 2020. Credit: Graeme Jennings/Pool via REUTERS.

The CEOs of Amazon, Apple, Facebook, and Google testified together before Congress today. 

Amazon’s Jeff Bezos, Apple’s Tim Cook, Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg, and Google’s Sundar Pichai faced hours of questions from House lawmakers over whether they’ve used their status to crowd out competition and enrich themselves, and whether their companies have become too big and need to be broken up. 

Two of the four are among the world’s richest men: Jeff Bezos of Amazon and Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook.

“Mark Zuckerberg was questioned by [New York Congressman] Jerry Nadler about why he bought Instagram. And pretty much Zuckerberg admitted they were a dangerous competitor and … sought to eliminate them,” says Tim Wu, a professor at Columbia Law School and the author of "The Curse of Bigness: Antitrust in the New Gilded Age."

Wu continues, “Nadler reminded him that it’s illegal to buy off competitors because you don’t want to compete with them. And they left it there. … That was, I think, a big admission and the main thing I’ve taken from the hearing so far.”