Tech giants to face US hearings on anti-trust, cryptocurrency

Tech giants to face US hearings on anti-trust, cryptocurrency

Washington, July 15 (IANS) Apple, Google, Amazon and Facebook are set to face two US House hearings on anti-trust issues and Facebook’s planned cryptocurrency Libra.

On Tuesday, the House Committee on Judiciary will discuss anti-trust issues while the Senate Banking Committee will discuss Facebook’s digital currency ‘Libra’ that is slated to arrive in 2020, CNET reported on Sunday.

Amazon is often criticized for undercutting competition on price.

“Facebook and Google have struggled with questions around privacy, free speech and election interference. Amazon and Apple meanwhile have grown so large and powerful, some lawmakers say they’ve become monopolies that need to be split up,” said the report.

Facebook has reached a whopping $5 billion settlement with the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) in the Cambridge Analytica privacy violations.

The FTC opened a probe last year into the matter after the social networking giant admitted Cambridge Analytica acquired detailed personal information of more than 87 million Facebook users via an academic researcher.

The report of the $5 billion settlement, the largest ever by the FTC against a tech company over privacy issues after a $22.5 million settlement with Google in 2012.

The Facebook case is being looked at as a measure of President Donald Trump’s administration’s willingness to regulate US tech companies.

The European Union’s anti-trust regulators in March fined Google 1.49 billion euros ($1.7 billion) for abusing its dominance in the online search market by blocking rivals.

Google has abused its market dominance by imposing a number of restrictive clauses in contracts with third-party websites which prevented Google’s rivals from placing their search adverts on these websites, according to the European Commission.

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