Monday 26th of September 2022

no one is above the law, no matter how rich or powerful...


In September, Jeff Bezos, Amazon's chief executive, rattled off terrifying statistics about the warming planet from the storied National Press Club, two blocks from the White House. Then he said he had something exciting to announce.

But when he uncovered a towering sign with the news, Amazon's name was nowhere in sight. Instead, the sign introduced the Climate Pledge, a project to reduce carbon emissions from companies. Yes, Amazon would be the first, and at the time only, signatory. But this was a bigger push, Bezos said.

It was Amazon news, couched as something grander.

The event reflected Bezos' approach to the nation's capital. He has jumped at opportunities to cast himself as a statesman — the saviour of The Washington Post, who holds court among the country's elite. At the same time, he has eschewed the day-to-day grind of bolstering Amazon's influence with policymakers.

But that changes Wednesday, when Bezos testifies before Congress for the first time. He will be joined by the chief executives of Alphabet, Apple and Facebook as part of lawmakers' investigations into the power of the largest tech companies. He is expected to face an onslaught of critiques, with questions as varied as Amazon's labor conditions and market power and his status as the richest person in the world.


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Note: this article appeared in The New York Times which of course does not like Bezos's Washington Post much...

on the sauce again...



abuse of the lawmakers...

The heads of some of the world's biggest tech companies have appeared before Washington lawmakers to defend their firms against claims they abuse their power to quash competitors.

Amazon boss Jeff Bezos said the world "needs large" firms, while the heads of Facebook, Apple and Google argued their companies had spurred innovation.

The appearance comes as lawmakers consider tougher regulation and competition probes are under way.

Some critics want the firms broken up.

Democrats pressed the tech titans on competition issues, while Republicans were more concerned about how they managed information and whether they were marginalising conservative views. 

Congressman David Cicilline, the Democrat leading the congressional committee holding the hearing, said a year-long investigation by lawmakers had showed the online platforms had "wielded their power in destructive, harmful ways in order to expand".

He said he was convinced the firms were monopolies and called for action. 

"Some need to be broken up and all need to be properly regulated," he said at the end of more than five hours of testimony.

Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg, Amazon's Jeff Bezos, Sundar Pichai of Google, and Tim Cook of Apple insisted they had done nothing illegal and stressed the American roots and values of their firms.


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