Apple, Facebook, Google, and Amazon CEOs might appear before EU lawmakers on Feb 1, 2021

According to a recent report by Reuters, chief executive officers of the four big Silicon Valley tech giants might appear at February 1, 2021, anti-trust EU hearing in Brussels, Belgium. EU lawmakers have invited Tim Cook CEO of Apple, Mark Jeff Bezos of Amazon, Sunder Pichai of Google. The agenda of the hearing is to assess the power these companies over the industry and regulate their anti-competitive practices and policies if any.

In 2020, the EU and other regulators from around the world scrutinized Silicon Valley’s four tech companies over concerns and complaints of anti-competitive behavior aimed to crush the competition by small developers. In December 2020 it was reported that the EU was looking to pass harsher laws “to limit the influence and power of Silicon Valley’s four tech companies in the region and threatens that non-compliance will result in a fine of 10% of their annual earnings. The European Union rules also hint at the possibility of enforced break up of a company.” Now it is said that,

The European Parliament will in the coming months provide input into proposals by the European Commission to force the companies to play fairly with rivals and to do more to tackle online fake news and harmful content or face hefty fines.

Apple

Tim Cook, CEO of Apple, and others invited to EU hearing on Feb 1, 2021

Due to their global reach and power of the aforementioned tech giants, the report states that the hearing committee wants to know about their business models and future plans to ensure that the sustainability of healthy competition in the tech industry.

“The purpose of the planned hearing is to have an exchange with the chief executive officers of the four globally leading platform companies to learn about their current business models and future concepts as they face the challenges of altering market conditions,” said an invitation sent to the companies seen by Reuters.

“The event will contribute to preparing the members of the European Parliament for the upcoming discussions on potential new regulation for the digital sector. For all these reasons, we wish to clarify that this invitation is for the CEOs only.”

Apple

People familiar with the matter told the publisher that the EU is willing to change the date of the hearing to accommodate the CEOs but have expressed doubt that chief executives would attend the hearing. It is also mentioned that EU antitrust chief, Margrethe Vestager will discuss digital and competition issues with Sundar Pichai CEO of Google over a video link on Jan 25, 2021.
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