Big tech scrutiny is continuing to mount despite everything else that’s been going on with the coronavirus and other issues. With many companies accused of violating antitrust laws, including using information gathered from third-party sellers on their platforms against them, regulators both in the U.S. as well as around the world have been going after top tech firms. On Wednesday, it’s confirmed now that the CEO’s of Google, Facebook, Amazon, and Apple will all testify before the House Judiciary Committee to discuss the issue.
The last CEO that confirmed his appearance was Tim Cook, the chief executive of Apple. Both Google’s and Facebook’s top executives agreed to appear before Congress if the other companies were going to attend as well. Amazon also stated in an official letter last month to the Judiciary Committee that Jeff Bezo’s would be willing to testify as well.
If this works out, it will mark the first time all four CEO’s testified together in front of Congress. While it’s still uncertain how exactly this meeting will occur – whether in person or done virtually due to the coronavirus – current rumors suggest that this hearing could take place sometime later this month. Represents from all four companies declined to comment when asked for additional information.
The House Judiciary Committee first announced it would be conducting antitrust investigations into big tech companies last year. While the probe is still quite far from over, direct testimonies from the four CEO’s would be one of the last steps needed before the committee could announce its results.
At the same time, regulators are closing in on big tech companies for other related issues as well. The Justice Department is supposedly coming close to a potential lawsuit against Google over its own anti-competitive practices. Another agency, the Federal Trade Commission, has also been looking into Facebook as well. Several of the top European regulatory bodies have been targeting these companies as well, so there’s mounting pressure all around the world.
While Google, Facebook, Amazon, and Apple are the four largest tech companies in market value, the fifth largest, Microsoft, hasn’t received the same degree of scrutiny as the other four. Microsoft faced a major antitrust case many years ago, and since then, has stayed relatively clear from falling into similar legal issues.
While it’s unclear whether or not regulators would advocate splitting apart some of these companies, shareholders are remaining extremely cautious over what could transpire in the upcoming months.
Google Company Profile
Alphabet is a holding company, with Google, the Internet media giant, as a wholly owned subsidiary. Google generates 99% of Alphabet revenue, of which more than 85% is from online ads. Google’s other revenue is from sales of apps and content on Google Play and YouTube, as well as cloud service fees and other licensing revenue. Sales of hardware such as Chromebooks, the Pixel smartphone, and smart homes products, which include Nest and Google Home, also contribute to other revenue. Alphabet’s moonshot investments are in its other bets segment, where it bets on technology to enhance health (Verily), faster Internet access to homes (Google Fiber), self-driving cars (Waymo), and more. Alphabet’s operating margin has been 25%-30%, with Google at 30% and other bets operating at a loss. – Warrior Trading News