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Four of the biggest companies in tech defended themselves Tuesday from charges they’ve become monopolies, choking small business and hurting consumers in the process.

Why it matters: The hearing in the House Judiciary Committee’s antitrust subcommittee previewed how Facebook, Amazon, Google and Apple will make their case should regulators come knocking with the threat of lawsuits or breakups.

The bottom line: Of all four companies, lawmakers seemed especially concerned about Amazon and Facebook, and relatively unconcerned about Apple.

Lawmakers' questions underscored the wide number — and variety — of competition questions facing the tech giants.

Amazon: Associate general counsel Nate Sutton said the retail giant didn't use individual third-party sellers' data to develop products that competed directly with the sellers, one of many questions he got about whether the company privileges its own products.

  • "You’re saying you don’t use that in any way to promote Amazon products," subcommittee chairman David Cicilline (D-R.I.) asked about the company's vast trove of sales data. "I’d remind you, sir, you’re under oath.”

Facebook: Head of global policy development Matt Perault argued that it wasn't strategically using acquisitions to zero out competitors, even as Rep. Joe Neguse (D-Colo.) said that the company's ownership of four of the top communications apps in the world was "a monopoly, or at least monopoly power."

Google: Cicilline questioned director of economic policy Adam Cohen about its strong hold over search.

Apple: Vice president Kyle Andeer disputed the idea that the iPhone manufacturer was acting anti-competitively by taking a cut of developer revenue in some cases.

What we're hearing: Rivals and critics of the major tech companies have spent recent weeks pressing their case on Capitol Hill.

  • Apple competitor Spotify and Walmart-backed trade group the Retail Industry Leaders Association, an Amazon antagonist, were among those who submitted materials to the committee before the hearing.

Yelp CEO Jeremy Stoppelman and Spotify representatives met with staff and members of Congress to advance their arguments during recent meetings in Congress.

  • Facebook co-founder Chris Hughes, who has called for breaking up the social giant, was part of an expert roundtable for members of the Judiciary Committee's subcommittee last week, and also met with at least one lawmaker in the Senate.

The big picture: Concerns about monopoly have entered the political mainstream, including in the Democratic presidential primary.

  • The Justice Department and the Federal Trade Commission recently decided which would handle antitrust concerns about each company: Justice took Google and Apple, the FTC took Facebook and Amazon.
  • Regulators in Europe have pursued cases against several of the companies, or may take them up in the future.

What's next: The Judiciary Committee's investigation into the tech giants continues, while DOJ and the FTC have the option of opening formal investigations.

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DOJ: Capitol rioter threatened to "assassinate" Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez

Supporters of former President Trump storm the U.S. Captiol on Jan. 6. Photo: Kent Nishimura / Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

A Texas man who has been charged with storming the U.S. Capitol in the deadly Jan. 6 siege posted death threats against Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.), the Department of Justice said.

The big picture: Garret Miller faces five charges in connection to the riot by supporters of former President Trump, including violent entry and disorderly conduct on Capitol grounds and making threats. According to court documents, Miller posted violent threats online the day of the siege, including tweeting “Assassinate AOC.”

Schumer calls for IG probe into alleged plan by Trump, DOJ lawyer to oust acting AG

Jeffrey Clark speaks next to Deputy US Attorney General Jeffrey Rosen at a news conference in October. Photo: Yuri Gripas/AFP via Getty Images.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) on Saturday called for the Justice Department inspector general to investigate an alleged plan by former President Trump and a DOJ lawyer to remove the acting attorney general and replace him with someone more willing to investigate unfounded claims of election fraud.

Driving the news: The New York Times first reported Friday that the lawyer, Jeffrey Clark, allegedly devised "ways to cast doubt on the election results and to bolster Mr. Trump’s continuing legal battles and the pressure on Georgia politicians. Because Mr. [Jeffrey] Rosen had refused the president’s entreaties to carry out those plans, Mr. Trump was about to decide whether to fire Mr. Rosen and replace him with Mr. Clark."