When four of tech’s most powerful chief executives make opening statements for Wednesday’s House hearing on antitrust issues, expect each to take a different approach. Apple Inc.’s
Tim Cook is touting the democracy of its App Store, which is under the scrutiny of federal regulators for its business practices and treatment of third-party developers. “After beginning with 500 apps, today the App Store hosts more than 1.7 million…if Apple is a gatekeeper, what we have done is open the gate wider. We want to get every app we can on the Store, not keep them off,” Cook is scheduled to say in prepared remarks. Amazon.com Inc.’s
Jeff Bezos takes a more personal tone, citing the company’s “customer obsession” and a “strikingly large and extraordinarily competitive” retail market in a written statement. Sundar Pichai, of Google parent Alphabet Inc.
insists “free services like Search, Gmail, Maps, and Photos provide thousands of dollars a year in value to the average American.” A portion of Facebook Inc.
Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg’s opening statement was the first to leak. “I believe it’s important to maintain the core values of openness and fairness that have made America’s digital economy a force for empowerment and opportunity here [in the U.S.] and around the world,” Zuckerberg says. Zuckerberg and the three other CEOs are scheduled to make roughly five-minute remarks at the beginning of the House hearing, which will delve into their market prowess and its impact on the economy and American life. Zuckerberg’s statement, which references the rise of competition from China, could frame an underlying argument that in weakening Facebook with strict rules, the U.S. government could unwittingly strength the Chinese economy.