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House wants four 'big tech' CEOs to testify in competition probe

Apple, Amazon, Alphabet and Facebook have been pushed to respond.
UNITED STATES - MAY 21:  Tim Cook, CEO of Apple, testifies during a Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Subcommittee on Investigations in Dirksen Building titled "Offshore Profit Shifting and the U.S. Tax Code - Part 2." Cook and other Apple officials were on hand to explain the company's filings after the subcommittee accused Apple of tax avoidance. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)
Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call
Jon Fingas
Jon Fingas|@jonfingas|June 13, 2020 1:31 PM

A House investigation into tech competition may have testimony from some of the biggest names in the industry — if they agree, at least. Axios understands the Judiciary Committee has asked Apple, Alphabet, Amazon and Facebook to say if their CEOs will testify for the antitrust probe in July. The companies reportedly have until June 14th to answer. However, they might not have a choice regardless of their responses — the letters hint at possible subpoenas for testimony and relevant documents if the CEOs don’t volunteer.

In statement, committee chair David Cicilline said the documents (which include responses to other probes) were “essential” to the investigation and that requests like this were part of the “appropriate process” to obtain the files.

While major tech CEOs have testified for Congress in the past, their appearances aren’t guaranteed. Companies have sometimes chosen to send other executives instead, and Amazon has so far declined to commit to testimony from Jeff Bezos in another investigation. That’s not including concerns about the ongoing pandemic, either. If they do agree, though, July could prove a pivotal month as politicians seek to keep tech giants in check.

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House wants four 'big tech' CEOs to testify in competition probe