Yesterday, the CEOs of Google, Amazon, Facebook and Apple faced congressional scrutiny. I’ve included a number of links to the coverage in the show notes.
Why do we care?
I’m leaving discussion of the coverage itself for main news outlets. Additionally, this is also covered in Episode 71 of Killing IT, which will release on Tuesday August 4th, so you can get more analysis and predictions there.
We care for a number of practical reasons.
Democrats on the committee came armed with specific emails discussing business strategy, specifically the purchase of Instagram. Your lesson – emails are documentation. They can be used in investigations. Remember that. How often are business strategies discussed casually in email that can be used against a company?
They also focused on Amazon policies of not leveraging data on third party sellers to create Amazon branded products – of which Jeff Bezos quote “can’t guarantee you that policy has never been violated.” Your lesson – policies need to be consistently enforced.
Finally, we care because of the perception. Technology is getting a lot of public scrutiny. That’s going to resonate going forward.
My prediction – this is about gauging public perception, as these lawmakers are up for reelection. I predict they will move on Facebook, focus on enforcement for Amazon and Google, and Apple will be left alone.