The four CEOs of the largest tech companies testified before Congress through teleconference, simply to discover politicians interested in functionality, than asking actual questions.
It was a wasted opportunity to see the CEOs of Amazon, Apple, Google and Facebook before the House Antitrust Subcommittee asked about deals they made in 2012, (old news, come on), emails discussing business strategy (also ancient) and why some Congressman couldn’t seacrh a right-wing publication in the Google search index.
Amazon’s Jeff Bezos, Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg, Google’s Sundar Pichai and Apple’s Tim Cook could have been asked some real, pointed questions with relevance about today or antitrust concerns.
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Rather, some members of Congress shot insignificant queries.
How immaterial? How about Cook asked to defend Apple’s TV ad from 1984, ahem, a 36-year-old commercial. Or the CEOs being asked to vouch for the nature of Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson.
There was also the congressman who invited the CEOs to concur with them to not use slave labor. “We abhor it wouldn’t stand for this,” said Cook, suddenly, which has been agreed upon by others.
Here are 10 questions that should have been asked.
Let’s start with one very basic one for the quartet:
“Could each of you please explain why consumers wouldn’t benefit if we were to vote to break up Facebook, Google, Apple and Amazon?”
The e-commerce giant, whose prevalence and efficacy (products delivered instantly or even same day) has led to the decimation of Main Street, has come under fire lately for its treatment of workers throughout the pandemic. When employees spoke out concerning it, the firm allegedly retaliated by firing them.
“Mr. Bezos, Amazon has been accused of not taking proper care of warehouse workers during the COVID crisis. What’s your response to the multiple reports and protests?”
Amazon does really promote products for countless vendors, but it provides notable positions for products created by Amazon, such as the Echo speaker, Fire TV streaming stand and Ring doorbell. Additionally, it offers lower-priced Amazon-branded essentials such as batteries and polo tops. Amazon-branded goods are vigorously promoted to clients looking at third party goods.
“How is this a fair, level playing field for sellers?”
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Google makes the majority of its revenues from advertisements, with its sophisticated monitoring mechanisms to trace our every movement on Gmail, Google Maps, Google Search and elsewhere to find out as much as you can on us in order to tailor advertisements based on pursuits.
“Mr. Pichai, you state users have the option of’picking ,’ for all these hints, but in fact, many Google services are not readily available to customers unless they consent to own Google follow them. Please clarify why that is OK?”
When using the search engine about 41 percent of the very first page of Google search results will be consumed by Google goods, based on an evaluation from The Markup which Google disputes.
“Second, Google controls what people are able to view in their search results, and on any given day, it is a hidden key why Google reveals me certain consequences over the others, and determines what I need to see. Can you please clarify how your algorithm actually works, and the way customers may have more of a voice in the things they view in their outcomes?”
The social media is just as infamous as Google in after our every movement, to the stage at which many men and women are convinced that Facebook is recording their telephone conversations.
“Mr. Zuckerberg, what can you say concerning the customers who believe you record their telephone calls? Many believe it is creepy to have Facebook understanding so much about these. How can you justify it?”
Facebook possesses three of the top 10 most used programs, Instagram, WhatsApp and Messenger, which use the exact same Facebook algorithm which tracks customer behaviour, and occurred since Facebook desired them neutralized.
“AT&T once upon a time was the only game in town for communicating, until we broke up the Bell program and now, we’ve got the incredible cellphone. Look what happens to invention with contest. I think consumers are better served using a different Instagram and WhatsApp. Persuade us differently.”
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Cook spoke many times in the hearings about how Apple began with 500 programs in the App Store and today has over 1.7 million. Which begs this question:
“Why should Apple get to have 60 of its own branded apps to compete with independent app makers in the store? Clearly, apps like iMessage, FaceTime and iMovie get preferential treatment over others. How is that fair play?”
“What about if Apple sees a favorite item, and makes the decision to replicate it, and market it on its own, thus setting its company in peril?
Flipboard was a favorite news aggregator program, therefore Apple followed with Apple News, which has prime place on the iPhone.
The Bluetooth tracker Tile registered an anti-trust lawsuit against Apple for doing exactly the exact same to the provider. Mr. Cook, what can you say?”
“Mr. Cook, there have been reports about very poor working conditions in your Chinese factories where you make iPhones, to the point where people have committed suicide from the stress. Why can’t you produce the phones here, and what can do you to treat the workers with more dignity?”
Finally, a more question:
Every executive spoke in their reverence for the late John Lewis, also were asked if they supported a varied direction,”Would you please clarify why there are not any people of colour at the senior leadership exhibited on the sites of Amazon, Apple, Google or Facebook past the diversity officer name? At what stage do you stop talking the talk, and really employ a diverse senior employees “.
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