Leaders of high-tech companies will be required to testify as part of an investigation into whether companies misuse their huge power in the market, said the head of the subcommittee of the US State Court that conducted the investigation.
The comments came a day after sources said the US executive branch was preparing for a similar investigation of Amazon.com Inc. Apple Inc, Facebook Inc. and Alfabeti Inc., deciding what could be an unparalleled and extensive investigation of some of the largest companies in the world.
The House of Representatives’ Judicial Commission opened its own investigation into competition in digital markets Monday, with Republicans and Democrats expressing concern over the power exercised by some of the most valuable companies in the world.
“It will be necessary for some of the technology companies to be part of this conversation,” said Representative David Cicilline.
The Democrat added that he was holding a list of witnesses and that “I expect a number of them to actually testify before the commission or they will be interviewed as part of the investigation.”
Republican House Leader Kevin McCarthy on Tuesday called for the oversight of high-tech companies like Google, told a press conference: “I think it’s right for people to see it,” but added he did not see how broken companies would help in privacy issues.
“I personally have a concern about personal privacy,” McCarthy said. Noting that some companies have a lot of market control, he has asked “are we allowing the market to work?”
However, senator Mike Lee, a Republican, said the complexity of antitrust investigations would better fit federal agencies instead of Congress.
Apple’s chief executive Tim Cook, speaking in an interview with CBS News that aired on Tuesday, denied the company was a monopoly, saying the iPhone maker had controlled a moderate market share but was not too big and disagreed with the calls of some American politicians to divide the company.
“With size, I think the review is right. I think we have to look into it,” he said. But, he added, “I do not think anyone reasonable will come to the conclusion that Apple’s monopoly.”
Cook’s comments were broadcast the same day, two app developers sued Apple on her App Store practices, saying the company got an unfair commission on sales of iPhone apps.
The center claims the same Apple practices highlighted in a lawsuit brought by consumers, arguing that Apple’s practices have artificially inflated the price of software on the App Store.
The Federal Trade Commission and the Department of Justice, which implement the antitrust laws in the United States, have shared the oversight of four companies, said two sources Monday, Reuters, Amazon and Facebook under the auspices of the FTC and Apple and Google under the Department of Justice.
The FTC is already investigating Facebook’s share of 87 million users with British political consulting firm Cambridge Analytica. Facebook said in April that it is expected to be fined up to $ 5 billion from the regulator.
The owner of former Instagram and WhatsApp rivals has more than 1.5 billion daily users and has a huge impact on many sites. He has been criticized for allowing deceptive posts and “false news” in his ministry.
Cook in the CBS interview also said that “the fake news is not under control,” and in response to a Facebook-related question, “I have a worry about any property that drives news today in a food.” Facebook did not respond promptly to a comment request.
Probes may have financial implications for companies. Cowen’s mediation lowered Apple’s target price at $ 220 from $ 245 on Tuesday, citing antitrust enforcement concerns. Shares grew 3.7% to $ 179.64, while the wider market was also convened./Investing.com