Facebook, Google and Amazon CEOs willing to testify in antitrust probe

The CEOs of Facebook, Google and Amazon say they are willing to testify before Congress this summer as part of an antitrust probe into big tech.

Representatives for Facebook and Google both sent letters to the House Judiciary Committee over the weekend signaling that their respective chief executives — Mark Zuckerberg and Sundar Pichai — would be willing to testify. But Facebook and Google conditioned their testimony on the testimony of top executives at other big tech firms, as well.

The commitments, first reported by The Washington Post and confirmed by NBC News with sources at both companies, come one day after a lawyer for Amazon said CEO Jeff Bezos would also be willing to testify.

Apple is the only one of the “big four” tech companies that has not signaled that its chief executive, Tim Cook, would be willing to testify. An Apple spokesperson declined to comment Tuesday afternoon.

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The House Judiciary antitrust subcommittee, which is chaired by David Cicilline, D-R.I., has been conducting an investigation into the big four tech firms, reviewing whether their market power poses a threat to competition and harms consumers.

The hearing, if it happens, would be expected to take place this summer. Whether it would take place in person or virtually, given the coronavirus pandemic, remains unclear.

Either way, the public testimony of America’s most powerful tech CEOs would represent a landmark moment in the regulatory battle between Washington, D.C., and Silicon Valley. It would also mark the first time that Bezos, the world’s richest man, has testified before Congress.

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