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Google CEO Sundar Pichai Replies To Question, Why Google Was Stealing Content From Honest Businesses
Representative David Cicilline, a Democrat, and chair of the antitrust subcommittee set the tone when he began by accusing Google of theft
Sundar Pichai Questioned: "Google Steals Content From Honest Businesses"
New Delhi: On Wednesday in a much-anticipated congressional hearing that has put four of America's most prominent tech CEOs in the hot seat, Google and Facebook took the sharpest jabs for alleged abuse of their market power from the Democrats and Republicans.
Facebook Inc's Mark Zukerberg,Amazon.com Inc's Jeff Bezos, Google owner Alphabet Inc's Sundar Pichai and Apple Inc's Tim Cook whose companies have a combined market value of about 5 trillion parried a range of accusation form the lawmakers that they crippled smaller rivals for the market share, via a videoconference hearing.
Whereas its was Bezos's first congressional testimony and he appeared the least fazed.Though Cook drew fewer barbed questions than Bezos and handled them efficiently. At the time when confronted with internal emails Zukerberg took the most damage.
On the house of Representative Judiciary Committee's antitrust panel, Pichai CEO of both Google and Alphabet took the most heat from conservatives and looked the worse for it, as he repeatedly told lawmakers he would be happy to look into various situations and get back to them.
The Big Tech hearing, unfortunately, was decidedly low-tech. Bezos escaped questioning for about an hour in what may have been a tech issue and were caught on screen reaching for what appeared to be the snack.
Lawmakers descended into shouting at points, with a pandemic twist. One lawmaker shouted: "Put your mask on!"Why does Google steal content from honest businesses?" he asked.
Responding to Mildy that he would want to know the specifics of the accusation Pichai said "We conduct ourselves to the highest standards," he added, disagreeing with the characterization that Google steals content to win users.
About the company's purchase of Instagram in 2012 Facebook's Zuckerberg took a series of questions and whether it was acquired because it was a threat.
Mark responded that the deal had been reviewed by the Federal Trade Commission and Instagram at the time was a tiny photo-sharing app rather than a social-media phenomenon.
"People didn't think of them competing with us in that space," he said."We've certainly adapted features that others have led in," he said.
"How many companies did Facebook end up copying?" she asked. "Is it less than five? Less than 50?"
"Congresswoman, I don't know," Zuckerberg said.
The hearing however was the first time the four CEOs have appeared together before the lawmakers.
Jayapal pressed Amazon's Bezos on whether the company used the data from the third seller in making sales decisions.
Previously an Amazon executive had denied the practice under oath and was contradicted by the news paperBezos answered cautiously that the company had a policy against such actions. "If we found that somebody violated it, we would take action against them," he said.
Also, Apple's Cook rejected the notion that there is nothing to stop his company from raising the commissions it charges in the App store.
"I disagree strongly with that," he said. "The competition for developers - they can write their apps for Android or Windows or Xbox or PlayStation. We have fierce competition at the developer side and the customer side, which is essentially so competitive I would describe it as a street fight."