Wednesday was a big day for worldwide tech powers Apple, Facebook and Google as Sundar Pichai, Jeff Bezos and Mark Zuckerberg testified before lawmakers on Capitol Hill. Throughout their testimony, the company heads touched on a number of pressing issues including market share, data and the 2020 U.S. Presidential Election.
One of the more interesting moments came when Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler questioned Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg about the company’s acquisition of Instagram. During his line of questioning, Nadler told Zuckerberg that he had acquired documents that show the Facebook CEO discussing “neutralizing a competitior” as a reason to purchase Instagram.
“Facebook saw Instagram as a threat that could potentially siphon business away from Facebook. And so rather than compete with it, Facebook bought it,” Nadler said.
In response, Zuckerberg told the lawmaker that neutralizing a competition was not a driving motivation for acquiring the company.
“With hindsight, it probably looks obvious that Instagram would have reached the scale that it has today, but at the time it was far from obvious,” he answered.
At another point, Rep. Jim Jordan questioned Google CEO Sundar Pichai about the company’s influence in the upcoming election. Jordan noted that he was concerned that Google would tailor its search engine to give Biden an advantage over Trump.
“We don’t do any work to politically tilt anything one way or another,” Pichai answered.
The marathon session lasted for hours leaving many with even more questions for the tech leaders.