The hearing of the US Congress, which summoned Jeff Bezos (Amazon CEO), Mark Zuckerberg (Facebook), Tim Cook (Apple) and Sundar Pichai (Google), has revealed countless interesting information regarding the giants of the tech world. In fact, as an Antitrust investigation, myriads of details emerged that few knew about.
We have already told you something on these pages, such as the Steve Jobs email linked to iBooks or the messages left by Zuckerberg before the acquisition of Instagram. However, it is only the tip of the iceberg. Indeed, during the hearing a lot of other information emerged. So let’s try to do a five-point recap regarding what has been leaked.
- Steve Jobs and Amazon. E-mails emerged, dating back to November 2010, in which the founder of Apple certainly does not send them to say about Jeff Bezos’ company. In particular, among the various messages there is one from 2011 that is making people discuss: “I think it’s all fairly simple. iBooks will be the only book store on iOS devices. We must defend it with our heads held high. You can read books purchased elsewhere, but you cannot buy, rent or subscribe from iOS without paying for it“;
- Mark Zuckerberg and the acquisition of Instagram. In some emails of 2012, the CEO of Facebook refers to the desire to buy some competing companies that could have “hurt” his company. “Instagram can harm us significantly“, you read in a message. We remind you that Facebook bought Instagram in 2012. The comment of Jerry Nadler, of the US Congress, on the matter:”Facebook preferred to buy Instagram rather than compete with it. This is exactly the type of anti-competitive behavior that Antitrust laws are called upon to prohibit“.
- Cicilline to Pichai: “Google’s business is the problem”. US Congressman David Cicilline said he had e-mails from BigG employees dating back to “over a decade ago”. According to Cicilline, the latter would prove that the Mountain View company at the time feared competition from other sites that could “steal” traffic from its search engine. Furthermore, according to the accusations, Google would have maintained a behavior designed to keep users within its search engine, implementing practices defined as “anti-competitive” by Cicilline. In particular, there has been a reference to Yelp. Apparently, following “protests” by the latter, BigG allegedly threatened to delete its website.
- Jeff Bezos and access to independent company data. Amazon has been targeted by Congress due to a report from the Wall Street Journal which states that the company’s employees had “studied” the sales data of private companies operating on Amazon to take advantage of it and create products capable of outperform the competition. Bezos said that this practice is prohibited by Amazon’s policies, but he also said that he cannot be sure that this rule has not been violated.
- Apple is the “favor” to Amazon. According to Congress, the Cupertino company would have paid Jeff Bezos’ company only 15% of the commissions linked to the publication of the official Prime Video application on the App Store. Typically, commissions are set at 30%. In short, according to Congress, Apple would have guaranteed “preferential treatment” to Amazon.
These are the five news items from the US Congress hearing that are causing more discussion globally. At the bottom of the news, you can see a collection of emails made public in these hours. In any case, it is a summary of what happened. Indeed, you need to know that the hearing lasted almost five and a half hours. If you are interested, you can view it in full through the player above. Among the other information that emerged, there are also the accusations against Amazon related to the alleged sale of the Echoes at a loss, but it certainly has not ended here, as you can see on the page of The Verge dedicated to the event.