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Friday Jan 29 2021

EU lawmakers, Amazon, Apple, Facebook, Google hearing pushed back by 2 months

The logos of Amazon, Apple, Facebook and Google in a combination photo. — Reuters/File

  • EU lawmakers willing to push back a proposed Feb 1 hearing by two months
  • EU regulators want Amazon, Apple, Facebook, Alphabet to end dominance
  • Lawmakers said they were open to another date in February or March

EU lawmakers, who are gearing up to curb the power of US tech giants, have told Amazon, Apple, Facebook and Alphabet that they are willing to push back a proposed February 1 hearing by two months.

The European Parliament had earlier this month invited the chief executives of the four tech companies to a hearing in Brussels to help them prepare their input into new tough rules proposed by the European Commission.

EU antitrust regulators want the four to end business practices aimed at cementing their dominance and blocking smaller rivals as well as do more to take down illegal and harmful content on their platforms or face hefty fines.

Parliament’s economic affairs committee, which sent out the invitations, is “willing to consider rescheduling and looking into alternative dates later than the originally planned date of February 1”, according to a letter seen by Reuters.

Lawmakers said they were open to another date in February or March. However, people familiar with the situation have already said the companies’ CEOs are unlikely to take up the invitation, preferring instead to send senior executives should the event take place.