Too powerful? US Congress grills tech giants

The bosses of the four US internet giants Google, Apple, Facebook and Amazon testified on Wednesday before a committee of the US House of Representatives. They were questioned about the abuse of their market power. Facebook boss Mark Zuckerberg stressed that their size alone does not make these companies bad. But that's not the point, commentators argue.

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L'Opinion (FR) /

Don't be fooled by talk of the common good

L'Opinion couldn't agree more:

“No one is criticising these companies for being successful. Their dominant position is the result of an entrepreneurial culture and a tradition of innovation that give the United States a competitive advantage on the world stage. Nevertheless we mustn't let ourselves be taken in by the tall stories they tell. They pretend to act in the name of a higher interest - 'We put our size in the service of the common good', as Jeff Bezos dares to claim - and assure us that consumers are their number one priority. But competition also ensures consumer well-being. When the Gafa companies steal ideas from start-ups or data from their customers, they are mainly using their size to eliminate the competition. This is what must be condemned.”

Krytyka Polityczna (PL) /

Of course Facebook shapes opinion

Krytyka Polityczna criticises Facebook in particular:

“Facebook looks like a conservative uncle compared to its competitors, claiming that 'there's nothing we can do about it', when in reality it just wants to maintain a comfortable status quo. It's very convenient for Facebook that it is still too important a social medium for the major market players to turn their backs on it for good. ... Facebook remains a medium that not only delivers the message, but is itself the message, to quote Marshall McLuhan. One reason why Mark Zuckerberg's company is so popular is because it is so easy to access. It can't hide behind the argument that it doesn't shape opinions but only delivers them.”