United States lawmakers grill big tech CEOs at House antitrust hearing

United States lawmakers grill big tech CEOs at House antitrust hearing

The bosses of some of the world's biggest tech companies have appeared before Washington lawmakers to defend claims that their companies have abused their power to quash competitors.

Regulators in the US and Europe have scrutinised Amazon's relationship with the businesses that sell on its site and whether the online shopping giant has been using data from the sellers to create its own private-label products.

The big day of the unprecedented hearing is here, where the four most powerful technology executives of the world are coming together to answer questions thrown at them by members of the US Congress. "But I can't guarantee to you that that policy hasn't been violated". Facebook's daily active users jumped 13% to 1.79 billion and monthly active users rose 12% to 2.7% billion as the pandemic drove online engagement, though the company warned that these metrics would likely be flat to down slightly in most regions during the current quarter as trends moderate.

The staggering economic fallout caused by the coronavirus pandemic was reflected in reports from Amazon, Facebook, and Google's corporate parent, Alphabet.

Revenues dipped two percent to $38 billion, as chief financial officer Ruth Porat said: "We continue to navigate through a hard global economic environment".

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"In uncertain times, this performance is a testament to the important role our products play in our customers' lives and to Apple's relentless innovation", chief executive Tim Cook said.

"It's so competitive I would describe it as a street fight for market share in the smartphone business", he added.

Facebook CEO Zuckerberg faced fire over the company's acquisition of Instagram and WhatsApp, a pervasive strategy of copying competitors' features, selling user data to third parties and the forest fire analogy of how fake news and conspiracy theories go wild on the mighty platform.

The companies face legal and political offensives on multiplying fronts, from Congress, the Trump administration, federal and state regulators and European watchdogs. "We also compete globally, including against companies that have access to markets that we aren't in", Zuckerberg will tell a panel of lawmakers investigating how its business practices and data gathering have hurt smaller rivals.

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