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Tech Giant : Google, Facebook, Amazon, Others have become Too Powerful, Antitrust Panel Chair Warns

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Amazon, Apple, Google and Facebook are too powerful and can likely emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic even more stronger, the top of a US congressional antitrust committee said Wednesday at a high-stakes hearing featuring the CEOs of the four US tech giants.

"Simply quote, they have too much power," Representative David Cicilline said in his opening remarks at the hearing expected to feature a grilling of the leaders of the technology companies.

"Whether it’s through self-preferencing, predatory pricing, or requiring users to shop for additional products, the dominant platforms have wielded their power in destructive, harmful ways so as to expand," the Democrat from Rhode Island said.

"Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, these corporations already stood out as titans in our economy," Cicilline said. "In the wake of the Coronavirus, however, they're likely to emerge stronger and more powerful than ever before." Republican Representative Jim Sensenbrenner struck a more moderate tone, saying "being big isn't inherently bad."

"Quite the other , in America you ought to be rewarded for achievement," Sensenbrenner said.

The unprecedented joint appearance — remotely by video — before the House Judiciary subcommittee features Tim Cook of Apple, Jeff Bezos of Amazon, Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook and Sundar Pichai of Google and its parent firm Alphabet.

The hearing is a component of a search into the competitive market landscape and antitrust legislation , but questioning is probably going to veer into other areas like hate speech and content moderation, economic inequality, privacy and data protection and even claims of political “bias” from President Donald Trump and his allies.

Ahead of the hearing, the highest executives of the firms sought to offer an upbeat assessment of the tech landscape, highlighting their roots and values and the way the businesses have benefitted average Americans.

An important way we contribute is by building products that are helpful to American users in moments big and little , whether or not they are trying to find a faster route home, learning the way to cook a new dish on YouTube, or growing alittle business, Pichai said in his remarks.

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