The Tech Bros are gonna be testifying today before Congress starting at noon ET, so I’m putting this up, quickly, so we can do our homework first:
What to watch for in today’s Big Tech CEO hearing in Congress according to experts:
- Bezos, Cook, Pichai, and Faceberg will all be keeping damage to a minimum. (Wired)
- Here’s what you need to know. (NPR)
- And here’s what they’ll have to answer for. (Protocol)
- A lot will depend on how the committee uses follow-ups. (OneZero)
- How the bosses will invoke the American Dream as a defense. (FT $)
- Bezos will say Amazon is the quintessential American company. (CNBC)
Axios morning email thingie:
When CEOs testify before Congress, as the Big 4 tech leaders will beginning at noon today, they have one job: Demonstrate they’re good corporate citizens by enduring questioning without offending or putting their feet in their mouths.
Axios managing editor Scott Rosenberg writes from the Bay Area that many CEOs mess up by making self-serving statements that are transparently untrue, or by letting their contempt for the machinery of democracy show.
What to watch: Of the four CEOs testifying before the House Judiciary Committee, Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg already passed this test with flying colors two years ago.
- His retort to Sen. Orrin Hatch’s question about how Facebook profits without charging users —”Senator, we sell ads” — was disarmingly forthright.
Apple’s Tim Cook and Google’s Sundar Pichai are both consummate technocrats who are unlikely to flinch, weird out or crack under pressure.
- Jeff Bezos is the wild card. It’s his first time before Congress. For most of the 25 years he’s run Amazon, he has avoided hostile questions in public.
What to watch: Because of the pandemic, this high drama won’t play out under the hot lights of Capitol Hill, but in the cool squares of Cisco Webex.
Prediction: This hearing will be the headlines at the end of the day. This is also Bezos’ first time testifying and he’s likely to be a big target. However, Faceberg will probably get most of the slings and arrows because Facebook is the worst. Read this story about how Mooselini (and others) is grifting off of Facebook, against their own rules, and they’re OK with it. (H/T Scissorhead D-Cap)