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Tech antitrust hearing with testimony from Tim Cook rescheduled for July 29

Apple CEO Tim Cook was set to testify on Monday, July 27 to the House Judiciary Committee as part of an antitrust probe, but the hearing ended up getting delayed due to the memorial service for the late civil rights leader John Lewis, who passed away last week. Now, the House antitrust subcommittee has announced that the hearing will take place on Wednesday, July 29.

The hearing will begin at 12 p.m. ET on Wednesday and feature testimonies from Amazon’s Jeff Bezos, Apple’s Tim Cook, Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg, and Google’s Sundar Pichai. This will mark the first time that all four CEOs will jointly appear, and it’s the first-ever congressional testimony by Bezos.

In the past, Apple representatives, such as the company’s chief compliance officers, have generally testified during congressional hearings on anti-competitive concerns. This is what makes it even more notable that Cook himself will testify this time around.

The goal of the bipartisan congressional probe is to find out whether tech giants capitalize on their size to give themselves an unfair advantage over smaller companies, and whether these decisions affect consumers. In Apple’s case, the concerns generally center on the cut the company takes from App Store sales and in-app payments and subscriptions.

House antitrust panel chairman Representative David Cicilline (D-RI) has been a vocal critic of companies such as Apple and the power they hold in the market. For example, Cicilline last year explained that he’s concerned that Apple could be using its first stance on protecting user privacy “as a shield for competitive behavior.” Furthermore, just a few weeks ago, Cicilline said in an interview that the market power Apple holds has become nothing short of “highway robbery.”

Again, the hearing will take place at 12 p.m. ET on Wednesday, July 29. Given the COVID-19 pandemic, the CEOs will be allowed to appear remotely via video conferencing rather than appearing in-person.

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