Amazon’s top executives, Apple, Facebook, and Google will all point to the importance of their businesses to America later in Congress today. This is evident from their opening statements published by the committee holding the hearing,
Appealing to national sentiments, they will defend themselves against accusations that their companies are too dominant and guilty of unfair competition. The groups together are worth more than 4000 billion euros on the stock exchange and still earn billions of dollars during this corona crisis.
The hearing is part of a major investigation, which has been conducted by the House of Representatives Justice Committee for more than a year.
Hundreds of thousands of employees
Eighty percent of Americans are positive about his company, according to Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos. He points out that Amazon not only employs highly educated people, but also hundreds of thousands of others who work in distribution centers, among others. The working conditions in these centers have been under attack for a long time and these concerns have only increased due to the corona crisis.
In addition, he points out that there is a lot of competition in e-commerce and that the success of the webshop also reflects on the smaller companies that sell their goods via Amazon. Of these, 1.7 million are active worldwide, he says. Bezos also says that it is right that his company be monitored critically. “It is our responsibility that we get through this type of research very successfully.”
Apple CEO Tim Cook says his company could have become so successful only in the US. Cook calls the smartphone market “very competitive”, citing foreign competitors such as Samsung and LG. However, together with Google, Apple is the only one that also has a successful mobile operating system.
Furthermore, the Apple CEO emphasizes that developers in the App Store can determine the price of their apps themselves and pay no costs to be allowed to be in the ‘shop window’. Cook also thinks it is justified to take a critical look at his company, but he does not want to “compromise on the facts”.
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg also says his company faces stiff competition. He argues that Facebook has become successful the American way by starting from scratch and delivering products that people find valuable. He also says that Instagram and WhatsApp could become so successful because they were bought by Facebook; critics believe that this has made Facebook too powerful.
Zuckerberg also emphasizes that Facebook stands for American values and warns that China is “building its own version of the Internet” based on other ideas. The app is not mentioned literally, but this is almost certainly about the competition that Facebook is experiencing from TikTok, a social media app made in China.
Products relevant to Americans
Google CEO Sundar Pichai says the services his company offers wouldn’t have been possible without the “long tradition of American innovation.” He also emphasizes that his company contributes to American society by building products that are relevant to users in the country.
He also states that his company operates in a “very competitive market”. According to him, this applies to both the search and advertising market.