Representatives from the Masters of the Universe at Google, Amazon, Facebook, and Apple are expected to appear at a congressional antitrust hearing taking place next week.
CNBC reports that representatives from Big Tech companies including Google, Amazon, Facebook, and Apple are expected to appear before the House Antitrust Subcommittee on July 16 for a hearing on “dominant platforms and innovation.” The tech representatives from the four companies include:
- Google’s Director of Economic Policy, Adam Cohen
- Amazon’s Associate General Counsel, Nate Sutton
- Facebook’s Head of Global Policy Development, Matt Perault
- Apple’s Chief Compliance Officer, Kyle Andeer
The subcommittee plans to “examine the impact of market power of online platforms on innovation and entrepreneurship,” according to a release announcing the hearing. Other experts on the matter such as Columbia Law School professor Tim Wu will attend the hearing.
The hearing comes at a crucial time for the Masters of the Universe as the FTC and the DOJ are considering investigations into the companies due to antitrust issues. Breitbart News reported in June that two experienced antitrust lawyers have claimed that once the U.S. Department of Justice makes a formal announcement of its plans to investigate tech giant Google over antitrust violations, the process will probably move much quicker than most would expect. Many have claimed that the Google investigation could take years, as an investigation into Microsoft by the DOJ two decades ago did, but some experts are not so sure.
Gary Reback, a Silicon Valley antitrust lawyer who was a key figure in the government’s antitrust case against Microsoft, and Rutgers Law School professor Michael A. Carrier have both stated that an investigation into Google by the DOJ will “front-loaded,” meaning that it’s likely to move much faster than the Microsoft case which started in 1992 and was settled in 2001.
Reback discussed whether the Google situation will be similar to the Microsoft one, stating: “Even though this is complicated, I don’t know that it’s going to be that kind of ordeal.” Part of the reason for this is that the FTC already investigated Google in recent years and although the investigation ended with no penalties for the company, it was reported at the time that some FTC officials had concluded in 2012 that Google took part in anti-competitive business tactics.
“If they were starting from scratch, it could take years,” Reback said, “but they (DOJ) now have more information.” Carrier, who specializes in antitrust and IP law, added: “My sense is that the DOJ would really want to make sure that they can find an antitrust violation rather than just an unease that the company is too big.”
Breitbart News will further report on next weeks antitrust hearing on July 16.