antitrust hearing zuckerberg bezos cook pichai

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It’s been a dizzying week for Big Tech, with Jeff Bezos et al appearing in front of Congress, then earnings, before the week wrapped up with an unexpected twist involving Tik Tok, President Trump, and Microsoft.

For smart commentary on the Congressional hearing on tech antitrust, I’d recommend these opinion pieces:

Linette Lopez wrote that unlike other tech hearings, the politicians came prepared. The tech titans did not seem ready for that at all, and they admitted to doing a lot of offensive things.
Big Tech’s CEOs wrapped themselves in the flag and warned about China, Troy Wolverton noted. He argued that their patriotic appeal was meaningless, misleading, and should be ignored.

Personally, I often find some of the most illuminating takeaways to be buried in the documents that are released as part of the hearing. These can offer a window into how top executives think and communicate. The picture they paint is often less than flattering. For example:

Mark Zuckerberg wrote to his top lieutenants about the benefits of ‘cloning’ competitors after meeting with Chinese entrepreneurs in 2012 — read the full memo
Emails show how Amazon’s $1 billion Ring acquisition was driven by Jeff Bezos’ interest in its ‘market position – not technology’
Emails show Amazon coordinated an ‘aggressive’ plan to ‘undercut’ before acquiring its parent company in 2010
Newly-released emails reveal how Google hoped to pay $50 million for YouTube in 2006, and why it ended up paying $1.65 billion

As Becky Peterson reported:

Market position, “land grabs,” and winning were all top considerations for the CEOs at Amazon, Facebook and Google ahead of major acquisitions, according to emails and instant messages made public on Wednesday as part of Congressional hearing over possible anticompetitive practices in tech.

  Page Six: Brad Pitt’s argument is that Angelina Jolie was fine with the judge in 2014

The documents give unique insight into the thought processes of these powerful (and often rash) men on the eve of big purchases, which over time have proven to completely rewrite the technology landscape. Ultimately, the messages show, none of these companies made their most high-profile acquisitions because of the quality of the technology.

You can read her story in full:

Now we know exactly what Jeff Bezos, Mark Zuckerberg, Sundar Pichai and Tim Cook think about before they make giant startup acquisitions

What were your takeaways from the hearing?

And what do you make of Microsoft’s interest in buying TikTok? The outcome is difficult to predict now that President Trump has said he’s against a deal, but the very fact that Microsoft had been keen is fascinating.

Email me at I’d love to hear from you.

Exxon’s stealthy job cuts

From Benji Jones:

Like many of her colleagues, Katie considered herself a hard worker. Her manager told her as much, often throwing compliments her way about the value she was delivering to Exxon — her employer and the largest oil company in the US.

Earlier …read more

Source:: Business Insider


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