During the well-anticipated congressional hearing of tech titans on Wednesday, the CEOs of Google, Amazon, Facebook and Apple summarily didn't deny most of the allegations pushed against them.
Even though they didn't admit to a lot of things, they didn't deny the fact that they used their power in a way to outsmart their competitors.
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Sundar Pichai, Google Chief Executive was questioned by Democratic Congressman David Cicilline on whether the search giant used its surveillance of web traffic to see what its competitors are doing.
Pichai reply didn't sound like he denied the allegation. He said;
“We try to understand trends from data we can see”.
Also questioned was Amazon founder Jeff Bezos by Washington Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal, who affirmed that Amazon had a policy against using the data garnered from its sellers to boost its own business but cannot guarantee that the policy has never been violated.
Bezos said he'd read reports of that happening at his company but that he was “not yet satisfied that we've gotten to the bottom of it.”
Congresswoman Jayapal also questioned Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook founder on whether the company had ever copied its competitors.
Mark in his response said;
“We've certainly adapted features that others have led in.”
Georgia Congresswoman, Lucy McBath questioned Tim Cook, Apple Chief Executive on whether his company had blocked Random House's e-book app from its online marketplace after the publisher declined to participate in Apple's competing iBookstore. Cook replied saying there are many reasons why an app might have been frozen out.
“It may not work properly, there may be other issues with it.”
McBath also reacted to Cook's response saying;
“Our evidence suggests that your company has used its power to harm your rivals and boost your own business, this is fundamentally unfair.”
Gene Kimmelman, an adviser with the Washington-based nonprofit Public Knowledge also said;
“All of them indicated that they use their massive data advantages to peek into what their competitors or people who rely on their platforms are doing.”
“So, while they didn't really want to admit it, they couldn't deny it.”