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Apple, Amazon, Facebook, Google CEOs Agree To Testify Before Congress

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The top executives of four tech giants have agreed to testify together before the House Judiciary Committee, reports said.

The chief executives of Apple Inc., Amazon.com, Facebook Inc. and Google agreed to attend the hearing on antitrust to be held in late July. This would mark the first time the four executives testified together in front of Congress.

Whether the hearing will be in person or virtual is yet to be known.

The executives' Congressional testimony is part of the House Judiciary Committee's investigation into the four tech companies, that was announced in June 2019 and marks a final step before completing the investigation.

The House Judiciary Committee is investigating allegations that the four tech companies have unfairly stifled competition in digital markets, made too many acquisitions, and harmed consumers.

The investigation could lead to changes in antitrust laws to reform and regulate the digital market. It could also result in new laws that would make it easier to break up these companies.

While Apple's Tim Cook, Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg and Google's Sundar Pichai have all appeared for congressional testimonies earlier, it would mark the first time for Amazon's CEO Jeff Bezos.

The Department of Justice and the Federal Trade Commission too have launched separate antitrust investigations into the four tech giants as backlash grows against them for dominating key segments of the online economy.

Last year, the Justice Department had agreed to handle potential antitrust investigations related to Apple and Google, while the FTC agreed to oversee investigations of Facebook and Amazon.

In July 2019, the Justice Department said it opened a broad antitrust review of big tech companies to examine whether they are unfairly restricting competition. The Department was to examine the practices of online platforms that dominate internet search, social media and retail services.

The Federal Trade Commission, which shares antitrust authority with the Justice Department, had previously conducted a broad investigation of Google, but closed it in 2013 without taking any action.

The Justice Department is said to be looking to file a potential antitrust lawsuit against Google this year.

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