Apple, Amazon, Facebook, and Google responded to questions from The House of Representatives Judiciary Committee by defending their practices and declining to answer some questions.
Despite its huge collection of data on search queries and clicks, Google said it could not provide much of the data sought by the committee. For example, asked whether it could share how many searches display location information about a business, Google said, “We do not have a standard definition for what searches are considered ‘location searches’ and thus, cannot provide the specific information requested.”
For its part, Facebook acknowledged cutting off certain third-party apps from its developer platform for replicating core functionalities, such as Twitter’s now-shuttered Vine, which it said replicated a Facebook product. But it provided limited answers to other questions on the company’s handling of prospective competitors. For example, asked for the timing and “exact circumstances” that led it to remove apps Phhhoto, MessageMe, Voxer and Stackla, Facebook replied that it “will restrict apps that violate its policies,” without disclosing details.
Apple answered questions about its browser and commissions it pays in its App Store, and addressed other issues, most of which are generally known. It said exactly two employees had sought to take disputes to arbitration. But asked how much it had spent on its map app that competes with Google, it said only “billions.”
MacDailyNews Take: Why is Apple lumped in with the likes of Google and Facebook? It’s preposterous!
Unlike Google or, arguably, Facebook, Apple does not have a monopoly in any market in which it participates. (Neither does Amazon, for that matter.)
The real problems where too much power is concentrated and the potential for abuse of their market power is greatest is clearly Google and Facebook.