Major tech CEOs will testify in House antitrust probe

The chief executives of Amazon, Apple, Facebook, and Google have agreed to testify before Congress as part of an investigation into their power over the digital marketplace.

This was confirmed by a spokesperson for the House Judiciary Committee before the hearing begins later this month.

The bipartisan investigation has been gathering information about large tech companies for about a year. Last September, the committee requested emails from the CEOs and other top executives, as well as additional documents pertinent to the investigation.

The probe concerns US antitrust laws and whether or not they need to be updated. For some lawmakers, tech giants have wielded too much power over online advertising, online retail and mobile apps.

In response to the investigation, Amazon, Apple, Facebook and Google have turned over reams of documents, but in recent months, lawmakers have also requested sought commitments for public testimony from the companies’ top executives.

As The Wall Street Journal reports, the committee is expected to release a report detailing policy recommendations surrounding monopolistic behavior in tech markets, which is expected to follow the CEO hearing.

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos agreed to testify as part of the probe in June. At the time, Amazon’s lawyer stated timing and format along with any outstanding document requests would need to be discussed prior to Bezos’s testimony.

Representative David Cicilline (D-RI), chair of the judiciary panel’s subcommittee on antitrust issues, stated at the time: “The testimony of CEOs and the production of internal documents is essential to complete this bipartisan investigation into the state of competition in the digital marketplace.

“The Antitrust Subcommittee will continue to use the tools at our disposal to ensure we gather whatever information is necessary for our work.”

While Bezos’s testimony will mark the first time he has appeared before Congress, Apple CEO Tim Cook, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and Google CEO Sundar Pichai have all testified before Congress in the past.