Monday was set to be a historic day. Mark Zuckerberg, Jeff Bezos, Tim Cook and Sundar Pichai — the CEOs of Facebook, Amazon, Apple and Google-owned Alphabet — were scheduled to sit before a House Judiciary Subcommittee on Antitrust. However, reports from Politico and Axios say the hearing is likely to be postponed.
A potential scheduling conflict is to blame. The late John Lewis, a Democratic representative and civil rights leader who died earlier this week of pancreatic cancer, will lie in state in the Capitol Rotunda on Monday, it was announced on Thursday.
The meeting of tech giants was scheduled to take place at noon. A source told Axios that Aug. 3 is the tentative new date for the hearing. Facebook, Google, Apple and Amazon have been contacted for comment but did not immediately respond.
Months in the making, the antitrust hearing aims to have four of the most powerful CEOs in tech defend accusations of monopolistic behaviors. All four tech giants have faced tough scrutiny over the past year from lawmakers and regulators, who not too ago looked at Silicon Valley in a far more positive light. Now officials are raising concerns about these companies’ growing dominance in the market, which could be squashing competition.
During a committee hearing in January, smaller tech firms complained about unfair business practices from the tech giants. Sonos CEO Patrick Spence told lawmakers that Google tried to restrict his company’s innovations and wanted insights into Sonos’ future product plans. Sonos sued Google, claiming the company stole its wireless speaker technology. David Barnett, CEO of PopSockets, blasted Amazon for ignoring issues about counterfeit that he’d raised for months, bullying him to lower his prices.
“There’s such a dominant power that exists with these companies that really even as a company of our size you feel like you have no choice,” Spence said.
More to come…
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