Jun 12, 2020 - Technology

Exclusive: House probe wants Big Tech CEOs to testify in July

Big tech with a magnifying glass
Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

House antitrust investigators are pressing Apple, Alphabet, Amazon and Facebook to say by Sunday whether their CEOs will testify as part of the Judiciary Committee's tech competition probe, Axios has learned.

The big picture: The public grilling of the heads of the biggest tech companies would come as scrutiny over the power of their platforms heats up.

Details: The Judiciary Committee this week sent the companies letters, seen by Axios, seeking documents and answers to the CEO testimony question. The panel wants to hold a hearing with the executives next month.

  • The letters raise the prospect of subpoenas to force testimony and document production if the companies don't comply voluntarily.
  • "These are documents that are essential to complete our ongoing, bipartisan investigation of the digital marketplace," antitrust subcommittee chairman David Cicilline said in a statement. "This is the appropriate process to secure their production.”
  • Documents the lawmakers are after include materials the companies have produced in response to other competition probes and internal communications. They also pose a range of questions to each company on issues related to possible competitive harms.
  • A bipartisan group of lawmakers already raised the prospect of compelling Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos to testify in a letter last month.

Background: Cicilline has said he wants to hear directly from the CEOs as part of the review, which is set to ultimately produce a report with findings from the probe and potential recommendations for updating antitrust law.

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