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tv   BBC News at Six  BBC News  July 29, 2020 6:00pm-6:31pm BST

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this is bbc news. are top stories. the bosses of amazon, facebook, apple and google are all about to appear before congress to answer claims they are stifling competition. we will bring you that hearing live from washington. a new warning from the world health organisation that young people could be contributing to the resurgence of coronavirus in europe. the boss of heathrow calls for coronavirus attests at uk airports to avoid the need for holiday—makers to self—isolate for m days on their return. and the next head of the uk's return. and the next head of the uk's secret intelligence service, otherwise known as mi6, has been named as richard moore, currently
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political director at the foreign office. hello and welcome to bbc news. the heads of four of the world's largest test tell macro tech firms are due to congress tell macro testify before the us congress related to their size and power. butjeff basis of amazon, mark zuckerberg of facebook, tim cook of apple are all preparing to appear via video conference. together, their companies represent $5 trillion of the us economy. let's show you the pictures in washington right now because that congressional room is beginning to fill up, sol because that congressional room is beginning to fill up, so i don't think we are quite far away from the start of that session will stop it was due to start an hour ago but had
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been delayed. and it will be a fascinating session to have these four. it is an astonishing in one session. of course lawmakers of had the chance in the past to talk to the chance in the past to talk to the likes of mark zuckerberg, but it will fascinating for someone like jeff bezos who is never experienced this sort of questioning. you will be facing questions about competition and amazon. that'll be very interesting to see these exchanges. also interesting because in the run—up to this, we've had a tweet from donald trump, and he has threatened to bring fairness to big attack with executive orders if congress does not do it. that is what he has tweeted in the last little while, threatening to bring fairness to big tech with executive orders if congress does not do it. so the room is beginning to fill up, this will be done via video link so it might take a little while to set
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up. so we will keep an eye on that end, as soon as that session starts there, we will return love to washington. there's been a fresh warning from the world health organisation that young people could be driving up the spikes in coronavirus cases across europe. new resurgence is rate the prospect of borders being closed only weeks after lockd owns were borders being closed only weeks after lockdowns were eased. else where the number of deaths in the us nears 150,000 people... first on the upsurge in europe. across europe, the authorities are on the lookout, and they're worried by what they see. covid cases are on the rise — amid celebrations, not just here in barcelona but in many places, that some social restrictions have been lifted. experts warn a second wave is not here yet, but people do need to be much better at keeping their distance.
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the trouble is learning to navigate this new world we're in. it's not back to normal, it's back to finding the new normal — ways to live with this virus to prevent it from rising, prevent the transmission from rising. 0n the belgian coast, they've long had to shelter from a blustery wind, but in 2020, protection also comes in the form of a face mask, the summer accessory everyone is wearing. and there are now new restrictions on how many people you can meet here outside of your household. in fact, here in brussels the belgian government is now warning there may have to be a second complete lockdown. but before that, if cases continue to rise, the british government may put belgium in the same category as spain, and that would mean anyone coming from here to the uk has to quarantine when they arrive. latest maps show the current hotspots in europe, seen in dark red. notably north—east spain, luxembourg
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and the south—eastern balkan region. the challenge is to keep outbreaks isolated. although we call it a pandemic, and even within this country it's a series of lots of smaller epidemics all coalescing together. people are living in areas where there's virtually no disease. that doesn't mean to say it won't come back at some time, and you won't know that it's come back until it has started making people ill. the british government says it will take action quickly in response to new spikes in cases across europe. all governments on the continent are facing crucial decisions, as they try to protect their people, their visitors, and their economies, decisions which can be a matter of life and death. nick beake, bbc news, brussels. let's go back to washington because that session looks like it's just beginning under way. let's pick up
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the sound. offices and we will materials as quickly as we can. we remain people —— might remind people that are face coverings are required in enclosed spaces. wear a mask except when you are speaking. a year ago the subcommittee liked and in did at the mag investigation. we want to document competition problems in the digital economy and see whether the anti—trust frame that can address it. in september 2019, the chairman and ranking members of the full committee and the subcommittee issued sweeping bipartisan requests for information to the for microphones that will testify. since then we have received millions of pages of evidence from these firms as well as documents and submissions of more than 100 participants. we did 100 hours of interviews. we will
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investigate the effects of this and independent businesses in the online marketplace. we felt 17 briefings with 35 experts and stakeholders in support of our work. this investigation has been bipartisan from the start. it has been an honour to work alongside my colleague my colleagues as well as a former ranking member. we work closely with all members of the subcommittee on both sides of the aisle who have taken this work seriously and studied these issues carefully. as my colleague ken book recently quoted, that is the most bad bipartisan effort i have been involved in. the purpose of the... they are the largest online maggot place in america capturing the 70% of all marketplace sales online for operates across a vast array of
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businesses from cloud computing and move production to transportation logistics. amazon's market valuation recently hit $1.5 trillion more ban while matt, target, ebay and etsy combined. apple is a prominent provider of smartphones. in addition to hardware, it sells and services and apps including financial services, media and games. facebook is the worlds largest provider of social networking services with a business model that sells digital ads. despite a litany of privacy scandals, facebook continues to enjoy billions of dollars of profits. lastly google is the worlds largest online search engine capturing more than 90% of searches online. it controls key technologies and enjoys more than1 billion users across six products including
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browsers, smartphones and digital maps. prior to the covid—19 pandemic, the corporations already stood out as titans and our economy. in the wake of covid—19 they are likely to emerge stronger and more powerful than ever before. as families shift their work and shopping online, these giants stand to profit. locally owned businesses meanwhile face economic crisis like neverin meanwhile face economic crisis like never in recent history. it is hard to believe it is possible our economy will emerge from this crisis even more concentrated and consolidated than before. they serve as critical arteries of services. because they are so central to our modern life comedy business practices and decisions have an effect on our economy and democracy. any single action by one of these companies can affect hundreds of millions of us in profound and lasting ways. although the corporations are different in different ways. we observe common
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patterns in competition problems in this investigation. there each platform is a bottleneck that key channel of distribution where they control access to information or a marketplace, they have the incentive and ability to exploit this power. secondly, each platform uses its control of digital infrastructure to survey other companies, their growth, business activity and whether they may pose a competitive brea kfast of whether they may pose a competitive breakfast of each platform has used this data to protect its power by copying, or cutting off access to a rival. thirdly, the platforms abuse their control over current technologies to extend their power, whether through self referencing, predatory pricing or requiring users to buy additional products. at the
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hearing we will examine how the companies used the playbook to achieve and maintain dominance and how their power shapes and affects our daily life. why does this matter? many of the practices used by the companies have harmful economic effects. they discourage entrepreneurship, high costs and degrade quality. simply put, they have too much power. this power staves off competition, creativity and innovation. and while the dominant forms may produce innovative products, your dominance is killing the small businesses, manufacturing and overall dynamism of the american economy. several of the firms also harvest and abuse people's data to sell new books to dangerous so—called miracle 0s. when americans learn how much of their data is being mined, they cannot run away fast enough, but in many cases there is no escape from the surveillance because there is no
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alternative. people are stuck with bad options. 0pen markets are predicated on the idea that if a company harms people consumers business partners will choose another option. we are here because that choice is no longer possible. i am confident addressing the problems we see will lead to a stronger economy. because that leads to consecrated political power, and this investigation will go to the heart of aware we as a people govern our selves or we are governed by private monopolies. american democracy has always been at war against monopoly power. throughout history we have recognised that concentrated markets and concentrate a political control are incompatible with democratic ideals. when the american people are confronted by monopolists in the past, we took action to ensure no private corporation controls our economy or our democracy. we face a similar
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challenges today. as gatekeepers of the digital economy, they can pick winners and losers to shake down small businesses and enrich themselves whilst choking off competitors. their ability to dictate terms, call the shots, or bend to higher sectors and inspire fear represent the powers of a private government. 0ur founders would not bow before a king, nor should we bow before the emperors of the online economy. i now recognise the online economy. i now recognise the ranking member of the subcommittee. thank you. iwant the ranking member of the subcommittee. thank you. i want to thank the ceo is for quickly working with the subcommittee to appear today. a memorial service forjohn lewis on monday required our attention. this hearing is vital to our oversight work and i appreciate your flexibility. our oversight work and i appreciate yourflexibility. throughout our oversight work and i appreciate your flexibility. throughout my long time in congress i have prioritised oversight is one of our seminal responsibilities. part of the responsibility is the periodically review of the effectiveness of laws
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andi review of the effectiveness of laws and i think it is a good and timely thing that we are now turning our attention to technological indignation which brings us to all of your companies. we are struck by a pandemic and it becomes a dramatic illustration of the reliance americans have on technological innovation and these unexpected and unprecedented times, your companies have provided innovations to our nation's needs. the delivery of groceries, virtual visits with doctors, connecting socially distanced families, keeping our small and large businesses connected. that responsibility comes with increased scrutiny in the marketplace. i want to say something else that i said throughout this investigation. being big is not inherently bad. quite the opposite. in america you should be rewarded for success. we are here to better
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understand the role the other companies have in the digital marketplace and in the effect they have on consumers and the public at large. you will meet some of the most powerful companies and we have a great interest about what your companies do with that accumulated power. we also know that the tech marketplace is driven by data. those who control the data in essence control the marketplace. there are broader questions surrounding data. what responsibilities do cost companies are to share it with their customers and competitors would not know what is the fair market value of about data ? know what is the fair market value of about data? is anything monopolistic in acquiring this data? and what about monetising it? these are complex issues that congress regulators and even your own companies are wrestling with in the
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current technological landscape, and the answers to which we owe american consumers. this investigation began we have heard rumblings from many who were quick to say that you are successful companies have grown too large. since this hearing was announced it seems those complaints have gotte n announced it seems those complaints have gotten louder. i find these complaints and informative but i do not plan on mitigating each of these complaints today. the consumer will offer standard has served this country well for over a century. there laws are provided the framework of great ability to make way for some of our most successful and innovative companies. i will be the first to highlight that. however, as the business landscape evolves, we must ensure that our existing anti—trust laws are applied to meet the needs of our country and its consumers. i share the concerns
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about the data and the digital space is ripe for abuse particularly when it comes to my speech. as we know, companies like facebook, google, youtube and twitter have become the public square of the for political debate. but reports that often conservative views are targeted as seriously troubling. conservatives are consumers too. and they need the protection of the anti—trust laws. the power and influence that they carry carries with it responsible responsibilities. let the facts be our guide. the companies are large. that's not a problem. your companies are that's not a problem. your companies a re successful. that's not a problem. your companies are successful. that's not a problem either. i want to leave here today with a more complete picture of how your individual companies use your size and power and what it means to
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the american consumer. thank you, gentlemen. the chair now recognises, and we have a gentleman from new york, mr madden, with his opening statement. i want to thank you and the subcommittee members for the tremendous effort that you have put into the subcommittee investigation. i appreciate that we can hear from the leaders of amazon, apple, facebook and google and enter into an important dialogue. today it is effectively impossible to use the internet without using in one way or another the services of these four companies. i have long believed that thomas jefferson when he companies. i have long believed that thomasjefferson when he said the concentration of power in any form, especially the concentration of economic or political power is dangerous to a democratic society. that is why we must examine these and other companies that play a dominant role in the economy, and
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ensure that anti—trust laws give e nforces ensure that anti—trust laws give enforces the tools they need to preserve a healthy market these principles have guided this year—long investigation into competition in digital markets and they are the lens through which i approached today's hearing. the internet has delivered enormous benefits to americans including the search of economic opportunity, massive investment and knee ways of education online but there is growing evidence that a handful of corporations have come to capture and outsize some slice of online commerce. by providing a data search platform, an online messaging platform, an online messaging platform and providing the underlying mapping services and cloud computing on which hundreds of thousands of other businesses rely, these dominant platforms now comprise the essential infrastructure of the 21st century. by infrastructure of the 21st century. by virtue of controlling the essential infrastructure these companies have the abilities to control access to markets. in some
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basic ways the problem is not unlike what we faced 130 years ago when rove rs what we faced 130 years ago when rovers transformed american life, enabling farmers and producers to access new markets but also creating access new markets but also creating a key chokehold that the railway monopolies could exploit. they chose to keepa monopolies could exploit. they chose to keep a parrot in a variety of ways, charging tolls extorting producers that relied on the rails, indeed they discriminated among farmers creating winners and losers across the economy and by standing on four lines of business that competed directly they could use their dominance competed directly they could use theirdominance in competed directly they could use their dominance in transportation to favour their own services. these tactics by the railroads sold fury and despair. there were investigations the document these problems and enacted legislative solutions to help these practices in the railroad industry and others dominated by unregulated monopolies and trusts. importantly, legislative
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reforms during this period did not prevent the arrival of new technology for human progress. instead, congress recognised that these powerful new technologies had reshaped the balance of power in our economy and that it was the role of congress to ensure that the new monopolists did not abuse the power stop today the digital economy holds a similar challenge. all the underlying technology is dramatically different but new digital intermediaries have the ability to control access to critical markets. if you are an independent merchant, developer or content producer you are increasingly reliant on these powerful intermediaries to access markets and consumers. across the economy, many businesses live in fear of exclusion from these platforms. the fact that some companies have shared with the committee over the past year during this investigation. the subcommittee current review of competition in the digital marketplace continues a long
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tradition of this committee of oversight of the anti—trust laws and our economy. from the days of germany manual seller, and the subcommittee has conduct careful inquiries into industrial sectors showing signs of consolidation and anti—competitive conduct. this is continued on a bipartisan basis over the years from german books, and others. as a 1930 report from the then named set committee on monopoly power described "it is the province of the subcommittee to investigate factors which tended to eliminate competition, strengthen monopolies, in small businesses will promote on your concentration of economic power. to ascertain the facts and make recommendations based on those findings. " following make recommendations based on those findings." following that calculation will have dealings with industry and government witnesses,
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ina industry and government witnesses, in a careful industry and government witnesses, ina carefuland industry and government witnesses, in a careful and at times painstaking review of large lines of evidence provided by industry participants and regulators. ultimately there is the responsibility of the anti—trust enforcement agencies to enforce the law. but congress has an obligation to assess whether existing anti—trust and competition policies and a bill to enforce them are adequate to address the competition issues facing our country, and to ta ke issues facing our country, and to take action if they are fun to be lacking. given the dominant romans four companies play in our economy and society, it is only reasonable that our careful examination of the anti—trust laws begins with them. i appreciate the participation of witnesses today. our investigation will not be complete, indeed it would hardly be done, without hearing directly from the decision—makers of these companies andl decision—makers of these companies and i look forward to their testimony and very discussion. and i look forward to their testimony and very discussionlj thank testimony and very discussion.” thank the gentleman, and i now
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recognise the gentleman from ohio, mrjordan, for his opening statements. thank you, and i want to thank the opening member, i'm not sure how many hearings the subcommittee will have this congress what i want to thankjim for his great work for the constituents of his district in wisconsin for this many years for the work he has done for this entire committee. i will cut to the chase was a big tech is out to get conservative. that is not a suspicion of a hunch but the fact. july 2020 google removes the home pages of breitbart under the collar. so much classic has declined 19 —— 19%. april 19, 2020, so much classic has declined 19 —— 19%. april19, 2020, google so much classic has declined 19 —— 19%. april 19, 2020, google and youtube announce a policy censoring the content that conflicts with recommendations of the world health organisations. think about that. the
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world health organization, that lied to us, that shirt for china and if you contradict something they say, they can say whatever they want, they can say whatever they want, they can say whatever they want, they can live for china, they can show for china, you say something against them, you get censored. june 29, 2020, amazon bans president tom's account on twitch after he raises concerns about the the police. jim thorpe 2020, amazon bands a book critical of the killer was not found written by a conservative commentator. may 2010, amazon will not let you get to the family research council and the alliance defence fund but you can get to planned parenthood. facebook june 19, 2023 starters from president tom's election campaign, november 21, 2018 facebook silences a pro—life organisation's advertisement. former facebook employee submit facebook routinely suppresses conservative views. i have indeed even mention twitter. we
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actually invited mr chairman, we invited him as one of our witnesses as you said no, i haven't even mentioned them. two years ago, they shut down to members of this committee. more members of congress, 435 and has come a 535, only four, only four get shadow band and what did mrjack dorsey tell us this matter it was a glitch in the algorithm. we asked them what did you put in the algorithm? if i had a nickel for every time i heard it was just a glitch, i wouldn't be as wealthy as our witnesses but i will be doing all right. we have heard that excuse time and time again, may 28, twitter says is a is a drop on the rights in minneapolis, twitter sense of the white house quoting the president was my comments about the rise in minneapolis, jan 2a, 2020 twitter sensors the president again passing a bill will enforce the rule
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of law against any autonomous zone in washington, dc. you can tweet about the tennis and that happened in seattle when when the peasantry treated i would not be done in washington, dc, you can't do that, you do that, you get censored. dozens of examples, i forgot one. just last weekjuly 21, july 21, this is what twitter did, the leader of iran is, the republic of iran, the largest state sponsor of terrorism, twitter allows this tweet, the islamic republic of iran will definitely strike a reciprocal blow in the united states. you can threaten the citizens of this great country, the leader of the largest state sponsor of terrorism, that's just fine, but the president says he's not going to allow an autonomous zone in dc, and he he get censored. all kinds of examples. most of them from this year. that's
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what's critical for us all to understand. most this year, an election year. that's what concerns me and so many americans because we saw what google did in 2016. we all know about the e—mail the day after the election. top executives at google e—mailed where they talked about the silent donation google made to the clinton campaign. thank goodness it wasn't enough and in spite of their efforts to help clinton president from one. 97 days before an election, and the power, as the previous chairman member has said, the power these companies have to impact what happens during the election, were american citizens get to see prior to their voting, is pretty darn important. that's why this committee hearing is important. we will think of the market is great, competition is great, we love
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that these are american companies but that is not great is censoring conservatives and trying to impact elections and if it doesn't end, there has to be consequences. there has to be consequences. that is what i'm concerned about and what so many americans are concerned about so i look forward to hearing from our witnesses, mr chairman, before i go back and we have a corny, i would ask his consent that mrjohnson, the ranking member of the constitution subcommittee, be allowed to participate in the hearing today which is our customary practice for subcommittee hearings. the gentleman makes unanimous consent. objection. the objection is served. why are we not allowing? the objection was heard, and now will introduce the witnesses. today's witnesses. 0ur first witness is jeff bezos, witnesses. today's witnesses. 0ur first witness isjeff bezos, the chief executive... mrjordan, i have the time... we are talking about
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people's liberties here. mrjurgen leu made a unanimous consent request... those are the rules. 0ur first witness is jeff bezos, request... those are the rules. 0ur first witness isjeff bezos, the chief executive of he founded amazon in 19 00 excuse me, i'm going to remind members of this committee, was required to wear a mask according to the senior physician attending. it is my pleasure to introduce today's witnesses. the first witness is jeff bezos, the chief executive officer of he founded amazon in 1984 as an online book store. since then amazon is going to be the largest online retailer on the internet. jeff bezos has overseen the company expansion into areas including cloud computing, and artificial intelligence. he received his bachelors of science from
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