The chief executives of the largest technology companies were put on the hot seat by politicians in Washington, D.C.
The tech titans were accused by lawmakers of abusing their market power in a congressional hearing that put four of America’s most prominent technology companies under the microscope.
The leaders of Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL), Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN), Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) and Google (NASDAQ:GOOGL) were questioned by Republicans and Democrats for six hours by an antitrust panel. Facebook Inc’s Mark Zuckerberg, Amazon.com Inc’s Jeff Bezos, Google owner Alphabet Inc’s Sundar Pichai and Apple Inc’s Tim Cook – whose companies have a combined market value of $5 trillion U.S. – faced accusations that they cripple smaller rivals in their quest for market share.
Although it was Bezos’ first congressional testimony, he appeared the least fazed. Cook handled the questions efficiently. Zuckerberg suffered the most damage, stumbling at times when confronted with internal company emails. And Pichai, CEO of both Alphabet and Google, took the most heat from lawmakers and looked the worse for it, as he repeatedly told lawmakers he would investigate various situations and get back to them.
The impact of the congressional hearing was not immediately clear. A detailed report with antitrust allegations against the four technology companies and recommendations on how to tame their market power could be released by late summer or early fall by the committee.