The CEOs of Amazon, Apple, Facebook, and Google testified in front of the House Judiciary’s antitrust committee Wednesday, and it quickly became apparent that this was a very different affair than past tech hearings.
The hearing comes after a year of digging by committee members and staff into the tech giants’ business practices and acquisitions, and the Democrats on the committee had clearly strategized on their various lines of questioning beforehand. In this face-off with Big Tech, the committee brought a gun to a gun fight.
The format of the hearings, where each member got five minutes to question the CEOs, proved unwieldy. In many of the exchanges, committee members asked specific questions and the CEOs provided the beginnings of long, context-filled answers until the time clock ran out.
In the end the questions may prove more important, especially the ones to which the CEOs provided no definitive answers.
George Washington University antitrust law professor (and former FTC…