Big Tech Founders to Testify on Antitrust and Global Internet ‘Backbone’ on July 29

Mark Zuckerberg testifies before Congress in 2018 - File photo courtesy YouTube

Mark Zuckerberg, co-founder of Facebook, Sundar Pichai CEO of Google parent Alphabet Inc., Jeff Bezos, CEO of Amazon and Apple CEO Tim Cook were expected to testify before a House Judiciary Committee today, but the event has been moved to July 29.

The chiefs of the most powerful tech companies in the world are expected to give testimony at the “Online Platforms and Market Power, Part 6: Examining the Dominance of Amazon, Apple, Facebook, and Google” hearing before the Subcommittee on Antitrust, Commercial and Administrative Law on Wednesday. No reason for the reschedule has been given.

The technology executives will be able to participate remotely. The event will be broadcast on the House Judiciary YouTube channel.

Technology has an ever-growing impact on aviation and aerospace.

Aviation companies rely on digital technology for consumer experience, operations and production areas. Aerospace companies helps enable technologies to flourish via on board experiments, in various missions and government and civilian contracts including satellite delivery.

The tech honchos of Facebook, Apple, Amazon and Google are expected to answer questions about competition against smaller companies, but also possibly investments by foreign entities including China and the role of foreign governments in global tech development.  In the latest developments in U.S. and China relations, the U.S. Consulate in the city of Chengdu was closed yesterday.

In an article appearing on the website DefenseOne.com, Emily de la Bruyere and Nathan Picarsic, senior fellows at Foundation for Defense of Democracies, said the tech CEOs should reiterate innovation and creativity as strengths of American based companies, which cannot be imitated.

The authors suggest a global approach in shaping the Internet together with NATO allies. It is imperative to enable tech companies to create tools in the fight to prevent theft of intellectual property across the board. They suggest to enable the big tech companies an advantage in shaping the global Internet backbone buildout would allow the U.S. to continue to function as a fair democracy.  They say for the long term involving the big tech companies is the lesser of the big-picture consequences at hand.

The authors argue that the American tech companies already control a range of industries, they should strive to play a significant role in building out the global data backbone and that would, in part, diffuse China’s control of the Internet.

China already controls ICANN, the LA-based nonprofit that governs domain names. The deal that allowed China’s control of the international organization was made on Oct. 1, 2016. Read here.

As far as antitrust issues, it is clear that the laws have not kept pace with ever-evolving technologies, the authors say. And straightening out antitrust issues at home with a view towards maintaining a fair and equitable competitive landscape on the Internet backbone of the future, is crucial, the authors say.