Due to its clash with the memorial service for the late Rep. John Lewis a major house antitrust hearing is likely to be delayed. The hearing was going to occur on Monday, July 27, and feature Google CEO Sundar Pichai amongst other big tech CEOs.
Android Central reports that although there has been no official confirmation of the postponed it is very likely to happen. The House Judiciary Committee and the Antitrust Subcommittee, who will host the meeting, have not commented as of yet.
Google has found itself in antitrust issues of a different kind this week over the use of Fitbit data. The EU had concerns with the handling of this data.
House antitrust hearing likely postponement
At the start of July, we first heard that CEOs from Google, Amazon, Apple as well as others would testify at this hearing. Complications surrounding the coronavirus pandemic has already slowed down the process of the hearing. Now it looks to have hit another snag in the road.
The hearing and subsequent review are designed to examine the laws surrounding antitrust. It will also have a particular focus on digital marketplaces hence the involvement of these big tech companies.
These companies have come under heavy fire in recent weeks. Apple, in particular, has been attacked for alleged antitrust practices. For example, Apple's 30% cut of all digital sales that go through its platform.
Apple responded to these claims with its own study. This unsurprisingly did not convince many given it was information from the horse's mouth. The study claimed that this 30% reduction was in line with other online stores including the App Store, Google Play Store, and the Amazon Appstore.
Antitrust hearing delay frustrating for some
Many will find this further delay to proceedings very frustrating. Reportedly most of the major companies involved only agreed to testify if others were able to make it happen. All the major CEOs including Tim Cook, Amazon's Jeff Bezos, Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg, and Google's Sundar Pichai will testify.
Antitrust laws are there to promote competition and prevent any one company from becoming too powerful. This means that practices that are seen as anti-competitive should, in theory, be punished by these laws.
Some argue that because of the size of the above companies the industry is not functioning properly. The idea behind this review is to generate new antitrust legislation in order to stimulate competition within the industry.
However, the delayed house antitrust hearing will frustrate many. Especially smaller companies who rely on the industry and are put under pressure by these large companies. Time will tell whether the review has any impact on the way the industry operates. However, further delays to its completion are definitely not helpful.