The worry is that these four goliaths of modern technology are exerting monopolising behaviour on the sector that is harming industry competition. This can affect many different areas such as the price of products for consumers and the way companies hire.
Mark Zuckerberg will be familiar with the proceedings after his much-publicised Senate hearing in April 2018 following the Cambridge Analytica scandal.
In a statement, House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler and Antitrust Subcommittee Chairman David Cicilline said:
“Since last June, the Subcommittee has been investigating the dominance of a small number of digital platforms and the adequacy of existing antitrust laws and enforcements. Given the central role these corporations play in the lives of the American people, it is critical that their CEOs are forthcoming. As we have said from the start, their testimony is essential for us to complete this investigation.”
All four CEOs will no doubt be going through some intense internal PR training prior to the hearing, even if they are experienced speakers. Tim Cook has done his fair share of Apple keynotes but it’ll be a little different being cross examined at a hearing.
Outside of this US action, Apple is also being investigated by the European Commission to judge the fairness of the App Store’s in-app purchase rules, and Apple Pay. At the time Apple commented, with unusual frankness, “It’s disappointing the European Commission is advancing baseless complaints from a handful of companies who simply want a free ride, and don’t want to play by the same rules as everyone else”.