Tech giants cut to size – News

Tech giants cut to size – News

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The government will be looking into more than a hot seat raking. There will be a raft of new regulations.

The six hour grilling of the four giant techs in a US Congressional hearing was power packed and tore into Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg, Amazon’s Jeff Bezos, Apple’s Tim Cook, and Alphabet’s Sundar Pichai.

Pichai got the worst of it and though Mark tried hard to finesse the questions with repartee and a practised monologue, these keepers of $5 trillion made for a poor defence against the accusations.

The Antitrust committee declared an unprecedented war on these monoliths querying them on fraudulent practices, monopoly trade, predatory marketing tactics, blatant theft, copyright infringement, hostile intent, and a slew of related poisoned arrows.

Whether this specific assault will have a lasting effect is hard to quantify but it has ripped the mystique off these mega monsters and brought into public scrutiny the control freak element in their business ethics or lack of them thereof. Pichai literally pleaded the fifth for fear of incriminating himself as the questions pierced a fragile armour.

The congressmen had clearly done their homework. Amazingly, and much to the discomfort of the foursome, the questioning was backed by inhouse memos, emails, internal dispatches all indicating there had been some shrill whistleblowing in the corridors of tech powerhouses.

The fake concern for small companies certainly was underscored as was free to use materials in search engines like Google taken without permission or payment.

If anything the House peppered the four on unfair trade practices but shied away from an equally invasive attack on the captivity of the public mind and the insidious brainwashing to the point where the individual is ruthlessly held captive and is enthralled by his captor, taking the Stockholm Syndrome to a whole new level. Perhaps that will be round two and the consumer will get a deeper look in.

The government will be looking into more than a hot seat raking. There will be a raft of new regulations.

They will seek to expose the concerns over Facebook sucking in Instagram and WhatsApp into its orbit. If Amazon’s parallel range of goods and offers a direct conflict of interest, Google will also go under the microscope for its chokehold on digital advertising and its lifting of content in such an arbitrary fashion. Apple has a worm as it harvests a percentage from private software suppliers for the App store among other contradictions.

For now the fight is on. -bikram@khaleejtimes.com






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