House Judiciary Committee Postpones Big Tech Antitrust Hearing

The House Judiciary Committee has delayed a hearing originally scheduled for Monday (July 27) due to a conflict with the late U.S. Representative John Lewis’ (D-GA) memorial service. A new date has not yet been announced. Leaders of Google, Facebook, Amazon and Apple were scheduled to participate, CNBC reported.

Tim Cook, the chief executive of Apple; Jeff Bezos, the chief executive of Amazon; Sundar Pichai, the chief executive of Alphabet; and Mark Zuckerberg, the chief executive of Facebook, were reportedly ready to offer testimony digitally.

It is anticipated that the subcommittee will provide a report following the hearing to document in detail what it has discovered and to present potential antitrust law changes.

The congressional probe will reportedly not directly lead to enforcement activities for the firms. However, those reportedly could be brought about by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and Department of Justice (DOJ) examinations.

The event was reportedly designed as the pinnacle of a probe into the four Big Tech firms. That examination started in June of last year to evaluate antitrust laws and the companies’ competitive procedures. The investigation had been postponed because of COVID-19.

It was previously reported that the hearing before the antitrust subcommittee and House Judiciary Committee was anticipated to be delayed due to Lewis’ memorial service. Lewis, a prominent civil rights figure, passed away in July at the age of 80.

News recently surfaced that the congressional report on alleged antitrust violations by the country’s four biggest tech firms could be released soon. Officials noted in a phone call with journalists that the panel had obtained 1.3 million documents from the firms and that the ultimate report could arrive in early autumn or late summer. 

Previous reports indicated that Pichai, Zuckerberg, Bezos and Cook were expected to deflect criticism of their market strength and to claim that they also encounter strong competition.

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