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Tech Overlords Head to Capitol Hill for Antitrust, Censorship Hearings


- July 16th, 2019
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Tech honchos from Apple, Amazon, Facebook and Google will appear on Capitol Hill today for some testimony before the House and the Senate. First up, we have the House Judiciary Committee on antitrust issues.

The committee is likely to discuss antitrust probes of the four companies under way at the Justice Department and Federal Trade Commission, as well as allegations that the companies seek to thwart nascent competitors.

Witnesses include Google’s Adam Cohen, director of economic policy; Nate Sutton, an associate general counsel at Amazon; Matt Perault, head of global policy development at Facebook and Apple’s Kyle Andeer, a vice president and chief compliance officer.

This whole week has the tech companies appearing before Congress on several issues.

On Tuesday, July 16, alone, lawmakers will hold the first hearing on Libra (Facebook’s cryptocurrency offering), four big tech companies will go before a House antitrust panel, and a Senate Judiciary subcommittee will hold a hearing looking at Google.

This comes as tech giants are under increasing scrutiny from lawmakers in both parties — over data privacy, antitrust issues, and accusations of partisan censorship.

Over in the Senate, Google will appear before a a Judiciary subcommittee led by Senator Ted Cruz.

Cruz, the chairman of the subcommittee on the Constitution, held a censorship hearing with Facebook and Twitter (TWTR) in February — but at the time, the committee declined a witness from Google, because the company was not offering a senior enough official.

Karan Bhatia, Google’s vice president of public policy, is scheduled to testify on Tuesday. Andy Parker, gun control advocate and father of Allison Parker — a local TV reporter who was killed during a live broadcast —is also set to testify.

Dennis Prager, of conservative media organization PragerU, is on the witness list as well. PragerU attended a White House event last week, billed as a “social media summit” (featuring far-right internet personalities, conservative think tanks and social media critics — but no major social media companies).

Why is a gun control advocate on a panel about Google? The Senate hearing will take place at 2:30pmET. You can watch it online.

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