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DealBook Briefing: Big Tech's tough day in D.C.



Good Wednesday. The Elon Musk-backed company Neuralink presented their plans to connect your brain to the internet last night – more on that below. Register here .)

Lawmakers took photos of tech giants yesterday during three hearings on Capitol Hill. Amazon, Apple, Facebook, and Google faced questions about their market power, experienced disruptions such as communications gatekeepers and, in the Facebook case, plans to transform the financial industry.

Perhaps the most revealing hearing was before the House Judiciary Committee, where a sub-committee for antitrust provided the best appearance yet on how lawmakers are thinking of capping Big Tech's market power, Steve Lohr, Mike Isaac and Nathaniel Popper from NEW, write. Most questions were for Amazon and Facebook.

• Representative David Cicilline, the democratic leader of the subcommittee, pushed them on the technology company's marketplaces – for goods, software applications and online advertising – giving them an unfair advantage over competitors who rely on those marketplaces to distribute their own products or services.

• Representative Joe Neguse, Democrat of Colorado, zeroed in on their M. & A. He pointed out that Facebook owns four of the world's six largest social networks (in itself, along with Instagram, Messenger and WhatsApp). "We have a word for it," said Mr. Neguse. "It's called monopoly."

"The hearing appearances were a narrative moment showing the rising power of the backlash towards the tech giants," said Mr. Lohr, Mr. Isaac and Mr. Popper. "Not long ago, considered taxes of American capitalism, they are now targets of both parties' political attacks, increasing public criticism and regulatory inquiry."

More: Google said it had officially deleted its search engine project in China code name Dragonfly. And E.U. is allegedly set to launch a formal antitrust investigation to Amazon's dual role of seller and market platform.

The hearing began with a stabbing criticism by Senator Sherrod Brown, the Democrat of Ohio:

"As a toddler who has got the hands of a book of fighting, Facebook has burned down the house about And again, every arson called a teaching experience, we would be mad to give them the chance to experiment with people's bank accounts and use powerful tools they don't understand, like monetary policy. "

It didn't get much better as David Marcus, who leads Facebook's cryptocurrency initiative, was questioned for more than two hours. Legislators brought up many of Facebook's error tracks – including data security and Russian disruption – to highlight concerns about the company's entry into finance.

Our critics are now on the rise. Just last week, Secretary of State Steven Mnuchin, President Trump and Fed Chairman Jay Powell, have raised concerns about the project.

Surprisingly, Marcus hit a redeeming tone. "We have made mistakes in the past," he said. "We've been working and working hard to get better."

• But when asked by Mr. Brown if lawmakers could persuade Facebook to scratch Libra, Marcus simply said that the company would not move on to regulators Concerns were addressed.

Libra is facing another grilling today that Facebook officials look forward to the House Financial Services Committee at 10 am East.

More: Facebook is said to have briefed authorities on its Libra plans last month, but the meeting allegedly just reinforced concerns that the company was no longer prepared for to deal with major problems.

• The company said it could" help people with a number of Neilink's greatest challenges will live up to Mr. Musk's grand vision. "

One of Neuralink's biggest challenges will live up to Mr. Musk's grand vision. "Independent scientists warn that laboratory animal results may not exceed human success, and human efforts will be required to determine the promise of technologies," says Markoff.


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