Democrats accused Big Tech of stifling competition. Republicans accused Big Tech of stifling speech.


Jeff Bezos of Amazon, Tim Cook of Apple, Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook and Sundar Pichai of Google were called to testify before Congress on Wednesday against claims that their companies have grown too powerful.

  • Democrats on the committee quickly dug into the issue of competition, citing documents obtained from inside the tech companies that they said showed their anti-competitive conduct.

  • Republicans asked about the tech giants’ efforts in China and about unproven claims that the companies suppress conservative views.

  • Mr. Pichai was a consistent target of aggressive questions about Google’s search engine and the company’s decision to withdraw from a Pentagon project after employee protests about the work.

  • Lawmakers released documents they said showed the desire of Mr. Zuckerberg to buy the photo-sharing app Instagram as a way of quashing a competitive threat. The social network bought Instagram in 2012 for about $1 billion in cash and stock.

  • Mr. Cook was needled on why Apple removed parental-control apps from the App Store shortly after Apple introduced its own competing tool in 2018, and was called to defend Apple’s recent demands to collect a commission from Airbnb and ClassPass after the companies shifted to selling virtual classes because of the pandemic.

  • Facing Congress for the first time, Mr. Bezos had to respond to whether Amazon harms the many third-party sellers whose products make up about 60 percent of its sales.



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