Amazon’s Jeff Bezos, Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg, Apple’s Tim Cook and Google’s Sundar Pichai have all fronted up to US Congress overnight to defend their business practices and explain why their products and services make the world a better place.
Here is everything you need to know about what happened.
What is this all about?
Yesterday’s hearing was part of a long-running antitrust investigation into whether or not these tech giants have violated antitrust laws.
The investigation has been running for well over a year and will see whether or not existing antitrust laws – which are hundreds of years old – need to be modernised.
All four of the companies have been accused of different antitrust violations, meaning each CEO was forced to enduring a grilling with specific questions.
This is what they said.
Google’s Pichai was quizzed about the company’s search business, specifically whether there was a conflict of interest between sending people to their websites and selling ads.
He was also asked whether Google’s digital advertising business is a conflict of interest, given it runs a marketplace on the buy-side and acts on the sell-side simultaneously.
Rep. Pramila Jayapal, who was questioning Pichai, even went as far as to compare it to insider trading and said Google’s advertising business was “depriving [newspapers]of ad revenue”.
In response, Pichai said “we are deeply committed to journalism in this area” and is “focused on providing users with the information they are looking for”.
Pichai also said he didn’t know the exact size of Google’s market share over the digital advertising space.
While Pichai was forced to defend Google’s advertising practices, Zuckerberg had to answer to accusations of fake news, election interference, and largescale acquisitions.
The company’s acquisition of Instagram was a particular focus, after Congress accused Zuckerberg of making the acquisition to “neutralize a competitive threat”.
Zuckerberg’s defence was that Instagram may not have been the successful business – and potential competitor – it is today if Facebook hadn’t acquired it in 2012.
“Following its acquisition, Instagram was able to get help stabilizing infrastructure and controlling runaway spam. It also benefited from the ability to plug into Facebook’s self-serve ads sys
He also discussed the acquisition of messaging service WhatsApp.
“Before it was acquired, WhatsApp was a paid app with a reputation for secure communications; together we built on that by introducing end-to-end encryption and making it free to use. Since its acquisition, WhatsApp has also been able to develop products such as voice and video calling that were built on Facebook’s technology stack.
“These benefits came about as a result of our acquisition of those companies, and would not have happened had we not made those acquisitions.”
Zuckerberg was also asked about the recent #StopHateForProfit advertising boycott and whether the company is “so big that you don’t care how you’re impacted by a major boycott of 1,100 advertisers?”
In response Zuckerberg said: “No, congresswoman, of course we care. But we’re also not going to set apple
our content policies because of advertisers. I think that would be the wrong thing for us to do. We’ve cared about issues like fighting hate speech for a long time.”
Cook received the least amount of questions out of the four CEOs, but he was still grilled over how Apple uses its App Store.
The lawmakers raised the fact Apple can take up to a 30 per cent commission on in-app sales and subscriptions.
Cook said the policy is simply a way for Apple to keep the app environment alive.
“After beginning with 500 app, today the App Store hosts more than 1.7 million — only 60 of which are Apple software. Clearly, if Apple is a gatekeeper, what we have done is open the gate wider. We want to get every app we can on the Store, not keep them off.”
The world’s richest man Jeff Bezos was asked about a recent report which suggested Amazon mined third-party data to develop products.
Bezos did not deny the claims.
“I can’t answer that question yes or no. What I can tell you is we have a policy against using seller-specific data to aid our private label business but I can’t guarantee that policy has never been violated,” he said.
He was also quizzed over Amazon’s market share in the US, where it accounts for roughly four per cent of overall retail sales (which includes restaurants etc) and 38 per cent of all e-commerce sales.
“I don’t accept that e-commerce is a different market, but it is a different channel,”
Bezos also described Amazon as one of the most popular consumer brands and emphasised how many jobs the company had created.
For most iPhone users, their camera rolls are littered with grainy, badly lit photos of a debuached night out at 3am and pics of dogs/kids/drunken family members. Yet, Apple stands by the almost professional merits of its phone’s cameras, regularly shooting its ad campaigns on the device to prove their credentials. And the latest “Shot […]
Ubiquity Lab has announced two new appointments to its growing consultancy team. Kirilly Mallard (pictured) joins as director – PR and communications and Emily McHenry as integrated account manager. Since launching in 2018, Ubiquity Lab has disrupted the market with its distinct offering. Founded by Matt Allison, the agency’s mantra and experience is centered in […]
National Australia Bank (NAB) has shifted its creative to TBWA\Melbourne after a 14-year relationship with Clemenger Melbourne after a competitive pitch. Commenting on the move, NAB’s executive group marketing Suzana Ristevski said: “We are excited to have landed on TBWA as the new lead creative agency to join our existing agency panel. It was a collaborative and […]
Sir Martin Sorrell’s S4Capital is continuing to strengthen its data and analytics offering, announcing the acquisition of Salesforce specialist Destined. Destined – which was founded in Australia and boasts a client roster that includes Spotify, Panasonic, Wingate, George Weston Foods, and Opal HealthCare – helps businesses with their Salesforce implementation, integration strategy and execution, managed […]
Acast, the independent power source of podcasting has teamed up with Comscore to provide brand suitability controls for brands advertising through the Acast Marketplace. This new innovation is part of a global partnership with Comscore, and will be available to all advertisers working with Acast Australia and New Zealand. The brand suitability solutions offered by […]
Look. How can we talk about the TV numbers – or indeed, anything today – without talking about Ariarne-bloody-superstar-Titmus? While the afternoon session of the Olympics didn’t get the highest numbers overall, it did score over a million viewers, who tuned in to see the 20 year old Tasmanian smash the 400metre freestyle, beating American […]
V Energy Drinks are serving up a big dose of the positive feels the world needs right now, with a new campaign from Clemenger BBDO Sydney. Moving away from the traditional association of energy drinks and extreme sports, the relaunch campaign spreads positive energy instead, with the tagline ‘Can you feel it?’. The campaign sees […]
SCA has confirmed a new long-term partnership with the most loved and enduring entertainment duo in the country, Hamish Blake and Andy Lee. It will see the pair continue to produce their hugely successful weekly podcast, Hamish & Andy, alongside new seasons of Hamish & Andy’s Remembering Project that will be initially published exclusively on LiSTNR from 2022. Hamish & […]
In this guest post, RMIT advertising student Perri Kapnias (main photo) lays out some innovative plans that can help likeminded ad aspirants land the first killer job… My name is Perri Kapnias, and I am a 20-something advertising student. Like almost everyone else on the planet, I scroll through social media every day. I am […]
Social media management solutions company Hootsuit, has announced that Maggie Lower has joined the company as chief marketing officer. Lower will own the brand’s overall global strategy, demand generation, communications, and events. Prior to joining Hootsuite, Lower was the global chief marketing officer at Cision, the first chief marketing officer at TrueBlue, and has held […]
Ryvalmedia has announced its appointment as SEM and performance media agency partner for MyDeal.com.au (MyDeal) after a competitive agency review. With work commencing in July, the remit includes SEM, digital media performance strategy, planning, trading, and implementation, with scope for data, technology, and analytics project work. Launched in 2011 and ASX listed, MyDeal.com.au is an […]
Omnicom’s PHD has been successful in acquiring a Gold Standard Skilled Workplace Recognition from Mental Health First Aid Australia. Each year one in five Australians will experience a mental illness. For the media and advertising industry, this stat is much higher. Taking a quote from the Mentally Healthy survey “Despite this improvement, only 23 per […]
Content Agency, Medium Rare has announced that Aidan Corrigan has joined its multimedia team as head of video. Aidan is a producer and director with extensive experience delivering award-winning content across advertising, broadcast, digital and the creative arts. A driven storyteller, he’s worked throughout Australia, North America and Europe developing and executing creative projects while […]
Media agency Wavemaker has appointed Susie Si as group business director – to lead the Vodafone account. Si joins from sister agency MediaCom, where she has spent the last 8 years. Most recently she was group client lead on News Corp. Si will report to Wavemaker Sydney managing director Ian Edwards, and replaces Emily Cook […]
Headquartered in Melbourne, Trade Indy is expanding off the back of strong client retention and consistent growth through existing and new business. Founded in Melbourne in 2014, the team have since expanded the business through team members in Singapore, Indonesia, Tasmania and Queensland, and are pleased to announce the full-time employment of NSW commercial director […]
Outbrain Inc. has announced the pricing of its initial public offering of 8,000,000 shares of common stock at a price to the public of US$20.00 per share. The gross proceeds to Outbrain from the offering, before deducting the underwriting discounts and commissions and offering expenses, are expected to be approximately $160 million. The shares began […]
HubSpot, the customer relationship management (CRM) platform for scaling companies, has announced that as part of its World Certification Week, it is supporting the GO Foundation with its mission to empower young Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people through education. As part of the support, HubSpot will donate $5 for every HubSpot Academy certification awarded […]
IntelligenceBank has today announced a strategic growth investment from Five Elms Capital. The $US37 million ($50 million) investment comes as brands and enterprises have realised that outdated technologies, disjointed data sources, and manual processes make it challenging to efficiently manage essential marketing workflows and ensure compliance across the organization. IntelligenceBank digitally transforms manual processes and […]
Southern Cross Austero (SCA) announced today 10 all-new DAB+ music stations on LiSTNr. The introduction of the 10 new Dab stations takes the number of music stations to 25 and reinforces its commitment to growing exclusive music programs and content. The 10 new stations have been created to cater to a variety of moods and […]
SBS has launched live interpreting of the daily NSW Government COVID-19 press conference in languages other than English, to provide communities with access to the latest information and critical health messages. The national-first initiative provides real-time interpreting of the press conferences in Arabic and Vietnamese, streamed live every day on the SBS Arabic24 and SBS Vietnamese Facebook pages, SBS […]
Snowflake, the Data Cloud company, today announced it has been chosen by market-leading linking platform, Linktree, to support the company’s business intelligence and analytics activities. Linktree enables creators, brands, artists, publishers, agencies, and businesses of all sizes to curate an online ecosystem and monetise their passion, instantly guiding their audience to the destinations they care […]