Image credits: Darren Halstead, Unsplash
/
Weekly Roundups

Tech CEOs Face US Congress Over Monopolistic Practices

By MBN Staff | Thu, 07/30/2020 - 14:31

For the first time, big tech CEOs such as Amazon, Facebook, Google and Apple gathered virtually to respond to US Congress’ accusations of monopolistic practices. On Wednesday, the hearing began with an introduction by the chairman of the antitrust subcommittee, David Cicilline, who emphasized the bipartisan nature of the 13-month investigation into the four tech giants and highlighted the ways the committee found to hinder competition.

“Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, these corporations already stood out as titans in our economy,” Cicilline said. “In the wake of COVID-19, however, they are likely to emerge stronger and more powerful than ever before.”

Afterward, CEOs introduced themselves one by one and in their brief speeches. They appealed to their origins and the beginnings of their great companies. In addition to highlighting how they benefit the US economy, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos emphasized that the retail market is "surprisingly large and extraordinarily competitive." Bezos began his opening remarks by recalling Amazon's humble beginnings as an online bookseller but acknowledged it has grown to become "a great company" that deserves scrutiny.

“We compete against large, established players like Target, Costco, Kroger and, of course Walmart, a company more than twice Amazon's size. Twenty years ago we made the decision to invite other sellers to sell on our store, to share the same valuable real estate we spent billions to build, market and maintain”.

Meanwhile, Apple’s CEO Tim Cook said the company does not have a dominant share of the smartphone market and is in fierce competition with rivals such as Samsung, Google and Huawei. “Apple does not have a dominant market share in any market where we do business. That is not just true for ‌iPhone‌,” he pointed out. Cook also defended Apple's 30 percent fee for digital transactions on the App Store, comparing it favorably to the fees charged by traditional retailers.

Google CEO Sundar Pichai, in his opening statement, said the company has offered a competitive platform that has lowered prices for advertisers, giving consumers more options. Pichai said the company employs more than 75,000 people in 26 U.S. entities.

Lastly, Facebook’s CEO Mark Zuckerberg said the social network competes fairly and lags behind its competitors in many areas. Zuckerberg called Facebook a “proudly American company” and added that “our story would not have been possible without US laws that encouraged competition and innovation.” However, hours ahead of the hearing, TikTok accused Facebook of “maligning attacks” that are part of a movement “disguised as patriotism and designed to put an end to our very presence in the US.”

More news below:

  • The latest development changing the client-vendor relationship is a service model that integrates hardware and software in one package. This model, combining Hardware-as-a-Service (HaaS) and Software-as-a-Service (SaaS), has been on the rise in Mexico. Many tech service companies already offer this model with differing portfolios, such as CompuSoluciones, Tec Pluss and CHG Meridian.

  • After filing for bankruptcy in 2012 as it failed to adapt to digital photography, Kodak saw the COVID-19 crisis as an opportunity to rise from the ashes. The New York-based multinational company won a loan from the US government to manufacture ingredients that will be used in generic drugs to combat COVID-19.

  • E-commerce depends on the coordination and speed of various areas in a company. One of them is logistics, which is key to boosting this sector in Mexico. However, to make e-commerce logistics run smoothly, more than extra costs are needed to ensure faster shipments. Distribution centers remain key to manage deliveries efficiently.

  • As mobility restrictions and lockdowns are lifted around the world, dating becomes a reality again. Still, dating apps are working on new ways to face the new normality without leaving one’s love life aside.

MBN Staff MBN Staff MBN staff