At big tech hearing, the non-denials speak louder than words

Congress Hearings Big Tech

At Wednesday’s hotly anticipated congressional hearing on ‘Big Tech’ Chief Executives, much of what they said was utterly predictable, namely we’re not that big; the competition is fierce; and consumers adore us.

What they did not say could be interesting. Given the chance to dispute that they utilised their capability to outmanoeuvre challengers, the technology titans demurred.

“All of them indicated that they use their massive data advantages to peek into what their competitors or people who rely on their platforms are doing,” said Gene Kimmelman, an adviser using an Washington-based nonprofit Public Knowledge.

Among the very first was Google CEO Sundar Pichai, that had been requested by Democratic Congressman David Cicilline if the research giant used its surveillance of internet visitors to find out exactly what its competition was around.

Pichai came out with a statement which didn’t seem like the query was contested by him.

“We try to understand trends from data we can see,” he explained.

Quizzed from Washington Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal, Amazon founder Jeff Bezos explained that Amazon had a policy against using the data chosen from its vendors to boost its business”but I can’t guarantee that that policy has never been violated.”

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Jeff Bezos said he would read reports of the occurring at his organisation but he was “not yet satisfied that we’ve gotten to the bottom of it.”

“I’ll take that as a you’re-not-denying that,” Jayapal mentioned.

When Jayapal switched her focus to Facebook, she pushed founder Mark Zuckerberg on if the business had copied its rivals.

“We’ve certainly adapted features that others have led in,” he explained.

When there were denials, or something similar to them they were strong. After Georgia Congresswoman Lucy McBath quizzed Apple CEO Tim Cook about if his firm had blocked Random House’s e-book program from its online market after the publication declined to take part in Apple’s rival iBookstore,” Mr Cook stated there weren’t any number of reasons why a program could have been suspended out.

“It may not work properly,” Cook told me.

When McBath reacted to Cook, she might happen to be addressing his coworkers.

The team at Platform Executive hope you have enjoyed this news article. Initial reporting via our content partners at Thomson Reuters. Reporting by Raphael Satter. Editing by Aurora Ellis.

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