The hearing came after the Ministry of Justice investigations and continued for more than a year, the policies of these monopoly companies, mainly at the request of the Anti-Monopoly Committee of the Judicial Committee in the House of Representatives. The investigations examined 1.3 million documents and took hundreds of hours of secret and closed hearings and briefings.
The anti-monopoly committee in Congress had requested the appearance of the heads of the four major technology companies to discuss their great benefit from the pandemic of the emerging epidemic of Corona, which some members described as dangerous because they had “a lot of influence.”
In this unprecedented scene before the House Judicial Committee, Tim Cook of Apple, Jeff Bezos from Amazon, Mark Zuckerberg from Facebook, and Sundar Pichai of Google participated in the session millions of people worldwide watched.
We are a powerhouse of America
The four companies control the way most people on the planet communicate and control the way they learn, work, and market. Amazon has 150 million subscribers in its services, and it employs a million people around the world. In contrast, Apple has a market value of more than $ 1.6 trillion and has sold two billion iPhones worldwide.
And 3 billion people worldwide participate in the Facebook application, through which the company controls a quarter of the electronic advertising market in the world. At the same time, Google uses 90% of searches on the Internet.
Americans have become more dependent on these companies after the Coronavirus outbreak, having to stay home and closing businesses, factories, schools, and universities.
The corporate chiefs played the chord of American nationalism and patriotism by asserting that their companies are American and a success story of the American democratic experiment model that encourages success, innovation, expansion, and growth.
“We believe in certain values, which are democracy, competition, inclusiveness, and the freedom of expression on which the American economy is based, and there are no guarantees that our values will prevail. China, for example,” said Zuckerberg, Facebook president of Facebook. She builds her own version of the Internet on very different ideas and passes this vision on to other countries. ”
For his part, the President of Google, Sander Bishay company, pointed out his company’s investments in areas that enhance the strength of America, especially in the field of artificial intelligence or driverless cars.
The four companies’ heads also focused on creating hundreds of thousands of jobs inside the United States and millions of jobs outside.
Democratic and republican attack
The four companies are accused of following monopolistic policies that allow them to eliminate any competition, whether through legal practices or illegal methods to expand and gain more strength.
Democrats pressed corporate heads on competition issues, monopolizing the market, and removing small or medium-sized companies from the market. At the same time, Republicans were more concerned about marginalizing tech companies’ conservative social media views.
Although the Congress session was devoted to discussing issues of profiting from the Coronavirus and the monopoly of major technology companies, Republicans focused on accusing technology companies of being biased against conservatives.
“Big companies are trying to clamp down on conservative voices and get them out of the arena of competition,” Rep. Jim Jordan, a close associate of President Trump, said in his opening speech. Jordan read several newspaper articles’ headlines claiming that voices with conservative inclinations have been suppressed or censored on Facebook and Google.
“We all think that the free market is a good thing, and we think the competition is wonderful. We love the fact that these are American companies. But what is not wonderful is to impose control on the conservatives and try to influence the elections,” said Jordan.
On the other hand, the president of the Facebook company, Zuckerberg, confirmed that his company could detect foreign attempts to interfere in the American elections before the American government agencies themselves exposed it.
While the President of Google Company stressed that “his company has not and will not try to influence the American elections.”
The companies defended themselves by adopting the concepts of innovation and continuous success, which is considered a success of the American model of freedom and creativity.
Although the session was restricted to Congress members and corporate heads, President Trump, through his favorite platform Twitter, interfered in the debate.
Trump criticized Amazon and threatened to take action against it; he wrote, “If Congress does not achieve equity with large technology companies, which should have happened years ago, I will do so with executive orders.”
Trump has an estrangement relationship between Trump and Jeff Bezos, the owner of Amazon, who also owns the Washington Post, which Trump believes targets him with unrelenting criticism.
Source: Al Jazeera