Big tech companies defend business practices in response to antitrust questions from Congress

DOJ antitrust chief Makan Delrahim speaks at a 2018 roundtable on antitrust consent decrees. (DOJ Photo)

The news: Tech giants fielding a bevy of antitrust inquiries defended their business practices in response to questions from the House Judiciary Committee. Amazon, Apple, Google, and Facebook sent letters to the committee in response to representatives’ questions. Those responses were released on Tuesday.

What they said: Amazon denied claims that it uses third-party seller data to source and launch private-label products but admitted to using aggregated data for “business purposes.” Google said it does not favor its own products in search results, while denying the committee’s request for search data. Facebook admitted to blocking some third-party apps that the company said copied its own products. Apple fielded basic questions about its App Store and Browser.

Why it matters: Big Tech is fielding antitrust investigations from the Justice Department, Federal Trade Commission, dozens of states, and Congress. The letters published Tuesday provide a glimpse into the strategies each company will use to defend itself in the coming months as the investigations heat up. Two Justice Department officials suggested this week that their inquiry into Big Tech will take a broad view of potential harms, even if they are outside the scope of antitrust law, Axios reports.

Go deeper: The House Judiciary Committee published the letters from tech companies here and Reuters has a deeper dive on the news.

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