Big Tech CEOs defend themselves before testimony in US

San Francisco: The CEOs of Facebook, Apple, Google and Amazon have defended their respective positions in the global market ahead of the historic testimony before the House Judiciary Antitrust Subcommittee on Wednesday.

The US panel was set to grill Jeff Bezos, Tim Cook, Mark Zuckerberg and Sundar Pichai together over the dominance in their fields of e-retail, smartphone software, social media and Search, respectively.

Cook clarified that the smartphone market is fiercely competitive and companies like Samsung, LG, Huawei, and Google have built very successful smartphone businesses offering different approaches.

In a prepared remarks before his appearance, Cook said that “Apple does not have a dominant market share in any market where we do business.”

Cook was set to defend the company’s 30 per cent fee of digital transactions on the App Store.

“Apple’s commissions are comparable or lower than commissions charged by the majority of our competitors. And they are vastly lower than the 50 to 70 per cent that software developers paid to distribute their work before we launched the App Store,” Cook said in the prepared remarks.

Apple is facing criticism over its App Store, which is the only way to install consumer software on an iPhone.

Zuckerberg defended Facebook’s acquisitions of Instagram and WhatsApp in his prepared remarks.

“Facebook has made Instagram and WhatsApp successful as part of our family of apps,” Zuckerberg wrote.

“Instagram and WhatsApp have been able to grow and operate their services using Facebook’s bespoke, lower-cost infrastructure and tackle spam and harmful content with Facebook’s integrity teams and technology”.

Bezos said that Amazon should be scrutinized.

“We should scrutinize all large institutions, whether they’re companies, government agencies, or non-profits. Our responsibility is to make sure we pass such scrutiny with flying colours,” he mentioned in his prepared remarks.

“Amazon accounts for less than 1% of the $25 trillion global retail market and less than 4% of retail in the U.S. Unlike industries that are winner-take-all, there’s room in retail for many winners,” he argued.

In his prepared testimony, Alphabet and Google CEO Pichai said that the company’s services like Search offer major benefits for consumers and small businesses.

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