Daily Management Review

Google, Facebook, Amazon and Apple asked to turn over internal documents


Google, Facebook, Amazon and Apple asked to turn over internal documents
United States lawmakers now want to get hold of internal documents from from Google, Facebook, Amazon and Apple as a part of the US government’s investigations into big tech companies.
The leaders of the House judiciary committee, and its subcommittee on antitrust, sent out letters seeking the same to the four companies on Friday. The committees are engaged in conducting a sweeping antitrust probe against the companies and the impact on competition and consumers.
The request letters were sent to a host of executives of the companies which includes the likes of Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, Apple chief executive Tim Cook, Facebook co-founder Mark Zuckerberg, and Google’s Larry Page, Sergey Brin, and Eric Schmidt.
“The open internet has delivered enormous benefits to Americans, including a surge of economic opportunity, massive investment, and new pathways for education online. But there is growing evidence that a handful of corporations have come to capture an outsized share of online commerce and communications,” said Committee chairman Jerrold Nadler, a Democrat.
 A rare example of bipartisan cooperation is represented by the investigation.
“This information is key in helping determine whether anticompetitive behavior is occurring, whether our antitrust enforcement agencies should investigate specific issues and whether or not our antitrust laws need improvement to better promote competition in the digital markets,” said Doug Collins, the senior Republican on the House committee.
According to industry experts, in case the four companies do furnish the internal documents sought, it is likely that release of potentially embarrassing internal documents would happen and would result in high-profile public hearings concerning some of the most well known names in the tech industry.
The documents asked for by the lawmakers pertains to information regarding the ways that the tech companies have build up their businesses, how the search results are shaped and presented to the consumers and the manner in which other companies interact with the services offered by the companies.
They will cooperate completely with the congressional investigation, the companies have said. A deadline of October 14 has fixed for the companies to provide the documents to the lawmakers.
According to Nadler, obtaining the internal documents are important for the lawmakers because those will help the committee understand “whether they are using their market power in ways that have harmed consumers and competition.”
A probe into the activities and business policies followed by the companies is also being conducted by the United States justice department and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). This latest measure by the US Federal Government comes after a large number of privacy and antitrust investigations into Facebook and Google were launched by various US states.