October 23, 2020

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Is big tech too powerful? Leaders must defend themselves in Congress

Is big tech too powerful? Leaders must defend themselves in Congress

The four companies have done their best to develop a good strategy, Writes The New York Times based on sources. Zuckerberg did so with a law firm from his Hawaii estate and Bezos from Seattle with a small circle of advisers. Lobbying is also underway: Tech leaders have called members of the Judiciary Committee, according to the newspaper.

Five minutes of speaking time

The hearings have also been criticised in recent years. The intention is particularly unsympathetic. Some American politicians lack knowledge. Everyone also wants to have a say and put their own interests on the table. And a politician has about five minutes to do so. So that’s not really profound.

Every member of the committee already has five minutes to ask. With up to four CEOs being interviewed on a wide range of topics, it may be a long time coming. It can last into the American evenings.

In addition to questions about unfair competition, correspondent Marieke de Vries expects Democrats and Republicans to address their own issues. “Democrats are also likely to express concern about the misinformation being disseminated through social media platforms and the impact these private companies have gained on our daily lives. There is a good chance that Republicans will seize the opportunity to express their dissatisfaction with the so-called partisanship of Silicon Valley. They feel disadvantaged.”

More theatre than content

It remains to be seen how the hearing will end. The meetings now have a reputation for being more theatre than content. At the same time, the hearing is part of a broader judiciary committee investigation that has been going on for more than a year. A report with recommendations, such as regulating tech companies, is due to be published later this year.

In the opening statements, CEOs will point out that their companies have been good for the U.S. economy and innovation. Read here what they have to say: