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这场听证会信息量太大,四大科技巨头“黑历史”被扒光

这场听证会信息量太大,四大科技巨头“黑历史”被扒光

Danielle Abril 2020年07月30日
特朗普表示,如果国会在本次听证会后不采取具体的行动,他将会亲自介入。

当地时间7月29日,美国国会针对科技巨头公司举行了一场反垄断听证会。会上,Facebook和亚马逊两家公司都受到了严苛的指控,称它们在壮大自己的商业帝国时咄咄逼人,各种不正当竞争的手段也是无所不用其极——而这两家公司也不得不花费大量时间为自己辩护。

这场长达五个半小时的线上听证会由美国司法部下属的反垄断委员会主持,国会议员们在此有机会对一些科技巨头公司的CEO提出质疑——包括苹果公司CEO蒂姆•库克、亚马逊的CEO杰夫•贝佐斯、Facebook的CEO马克•扎克伯格和谷歌母公司Alphabet的CEO桑达尔•皮查伊。利用这个机会,议员们对四家科技巨头公司提出了深刻问询,而其中针对Facebook和亚马逊的反垄断指控最为强烈——议员们称这两家公司的所作所为“最令人发指”。

国会议员们尖锐地抨击了亚马逊对第三方卖家的欺压行为,称其做法和“毒贩”并无二致。Facebook也受到了类似的指控:委员会拿出了该公司此前在Instagram收购案中的相关材料,称Facebook为达成收购Instagram的目的,展开了“破坏性的攻势”,颇具“数字圈地”的色彩,以巩固其市场霸主的地位。

尽管扎克伯格不同意这些针对Facebook公司及其做法的指控,但他实际上也暗中承认,将竞争对手的创意挪用到自己的产品开发中,的确是Facebook的惯常做法。

扎克伯格说:“我们确实会适当借鉴他人的点子,并将其引入到我们自己的产品中。”

相比之下,苹果公司在听证会中没有招致太多火力,得以毫发无损地全身而退。至于谷歌,尽管国会也提到其通过“窃取信息”(包括Yelp评论)遏制小企业的问题,但大多数的质疑还是来自谷歌与中美两国政府的合作、数据隐私等相关问题。

在这次反垄断听证会上,这四位全球科技巨头的CEO首次共同出席国会作证——这也是亚马逊CEO贝佐斯第一次出席此类场合。同样的场面,在联邦贸易委员会和司法部继续对四家公司进行反垄断调查时也曾上演。这些科技巨头如今面临着监管机构和用户日益严格的监督——它们收集了用户多少数据信息?这些信息将被用在何处?它们的权力膨胀到了何种地步?这些问题都让人们产生了深深的忧虑。

华盛顿第七国会区的民主党众议员代表普拉米拉•贾亚帕尔谈到,Facebook此前以不光彩的手段收购了Instagram,如今又试图故技重施,收购SnapChat。她指责这家社交媒体巨头在收购谈判中窃取了对手的产品。而当扎克伯格说他并不记得对竞争对手施加过任何威胁时,贾亚帕尔提醒他想一想自己出庭前的宣誓,并表示委员会已经收到了相关电子邮件证据,暗示扎克伯格,事件的真相可能恰恰和他声称的相反。

当国会提到他们有电邮证据揭露Instagram收购案的真相时,扎克伯格说:“我不同意对‘窃取对手创意’之类的定性——显然,我们本来也有意在Instagram主打的[移动端照片类社交软件]领域展开竞争。”

与此同时,宾夕法尼亚州第五区的民主党众议员代表玛丽•斯坎伦则对亚马逊提出质疑,称其为收购竞争对手Diapers.com而采取的计划太具有“侵略性”。她质问亚马逊CEO贝佐斯在为何在收购中暂时下调价格,从而让Diapers.com毫无招架之力。而后收购完成时,又再度推高了价格。

贝佐斯则回应道:“我一点也不记得,我们给出的价格一直很有竞争力。”

国会议员们还担忧,亚马逊是否正在通过内部渠道获取第三方卖家的数据,以建立自己的产品供应链,来与这些品牌展开竞争。尽管根据亚马逊的政策,该平台不得查看私人卖家的数据,但事实上,它仍然保留了对这些数据进行汇总分析的权限。

“我不能保证这一政策从未被违反过。”贝佐斯说,“我们会对此事介入调查,暂时不能妄下判断。”

而来自佐治亚州第六选区的民主党代表露西•麦巴斯则播放了一段录音。录音中,一家销量颇高的亚马逊驰名私营书商表示,自己的店铺被亚马逊官方无故撤下了平台,此后书店所提交的申诉请求,包括直接投递给贝佐斯的那些,都没有得到过回应。

“我们并没有违反平台的任何规定。”书店老板在录音中哀求道,“我们店一共有14个人,大家还要生活下去,求求你们让我继续正常经营吧。”

虽然本次听证会尚未提及往后具体的监管措施,但毋庸置疑的是,美国国会正在为科技巨头公司的垄断问题而担忧。纽约州民主党代表杰罗尔德•纳德勒认为,在一个民主社会中,出现过度集中的权力是非常危险的,这四家科技公司尤其需要被密切关注。

然而,威斯康星州第五选区共和党代表吉姆•森森布伦纳认为,比起修改反垄断法,国家更应该把重心放在现有法律的执行上面。“国会应该挑选出合适的‘赢家’与‘输家’,这一点我们总做不好。”他指出:“我们不需要修改反垄断法,我已经得出了结论。”

另一方面,特朗普表示,如果国会在本次听证会后不采取具体的行动,他将会亲自介入。“他们早该干预了,如果国会还是不能监管这些大型科技公司,我就会颁布行政命令来亲自执行。”特朗普于本周三听证会开始前在推特上写道,“多年来,他们在华盛顿一直只说不做,美国人民已经听腻了!”

国会两党在这个问题上的侧重点也不尽相同,这么多年来一直在“科技公司是否未被监管”、“是否要修改法律”上争论不休。民主党人最关注的是科技公司的权力及隐私保护问题,而共和党人更加关心各大平台是否压制了那些保守派的观点。

纵观整场会议,很多国会议员都借此机会强调和“个人利益”这个话题相关的内容,即便这些问题本身与反垄断法无关,“数据隐私”、“内容适度”、“政治偏见”这些关键词被反复提及。亚马逊CEO贝佐斯甚至认为社交媒会伤害到国家民主,“社交媒体是一个微妙的、具有毁灭性的机器。”他说。

事实上,四位CEO都坚持表示自己公司的服务与产品能让消费者获益。同时,他们也聊到了当下激烈的竞争环境。谈及企业的对手时,贝佐斯提到了沃尔玛、塔吉特和开市客的名字,而扎克伯格则将TikTok、苹果、谷歌这些社交媒体及信息服务平台纳入了名单。

“根据我对法律的理解,不能只因为一个公司大,就说它不好。”扎克伯格在会议前的发言中说道,“很多大公司没有竞争意识,所以它们倒闭了。”

美国众议院附属委员会主席及罗德岛州民主党代表大卫•塞西林表示,该委员会将在听证会结束后发布一份具体的调查报告,并制定适当的解决方案。

“这类大型企业都是巨大的垄断势力,有些需要被拆解,有些需要被适当监管。”塞西林说道。(财富中文网)

编译:陈怡轩、陈聪聪

当地时间7月29日,美国国会针对科技巨头公司举行了一场反垄断听证会。会上,Facebook和亚马逊两家公司都受到了严苛的指控,称它们在壮大自己的商业帝国时咄咄逼人,各种不正当竞争的手段也是无所不用其极——而这两家公司也不得不花费大量时间为自己辩护。

这场长达五个半小时的线上听证会由美国司法部下属的反垄断委员会主持,国会议员们在此有机会对一些科技巨头公司的CEO提出质疑——包括苹果公司CEO蒂姆•库克、亚马逊的CEO杰夫•贝佐斯、Facebook的CEO马克•扎克伯格和谷歌母公司Alphabet的CEO桑达尔•皮查伊。利用这个机会,议员们对四家科技巨头公司提出了深刻问询,而其中针对Facebook和亚马逊的反垄断指控最为强烈——议员们称这两家公司的所作所为“最令人发指”。

国会议员们尖锐地抨击了亚马逊对第三方卖家的欺压行为,称其做法和“毒贩”并无二致。Facebook也受到了类似的指控:委员会拿出了该公司此前在Instagram收购案中的相关材料,称Facebook为达成收购Instagram的目的,展开了“破坏性的攻势”,颇具“数字圈地”的色彩,以巩固其市场霸主的地位。

尽管扎克伯格不同意这些针对Facebook公司及其做法的指控,但他实际上也暗中承认,将竞争对手的创意挪用到自己的产品开发中,的确是Facebook的惯常做法。

扎克伯格说:“我们确实会适当借鉴他人的点子,并将其引入到我们自己的产品中。”

相比之下,苹果公司在听证会中没有招致太多火力,得以毫发无损地全身而退。至于谷歌,尽管国会也提到其通过“窃取信息”(包括Yelp评论)遏制小企业的问题,但大多数的质疑还是来自谷歌与中美两国政府的合作、数据隐私等相关问题。

在这次反垄断听证会上,这四位全球科技巨头的CEO首次共同出席国会作证——这也是亚马逊CEO贝佐斯第一次出席此类场合。同样的场面,在联邦贸易委员会和司法部继续对四家公司进行反垄断调查时也曾上演。这些科技巨头如今面临着监管机构和用户日益严格的监督——它们收集了用户多少数据信息?这些信息将被用在何处?它们的权力膨胀到了何种地步?这些问题都让人们产生了深深的忧虑。

华盛顿第七国会区的民主党众议员代表普拉米拉•贾亚帕尔谈到,Facebook此前以不光彩的手段收购了Instagram,如今又试图故技重施,收购SnapChat。她指责这家社交媒体巨头在收购谈判中窃取了对手的产品。而当扎克伯格说他并不记得对竞争对手施加过任何威胁时,贾亚帕尔提醒他想一想自己出庭前的宣誓,并表示委员会已经收到了相关电子邮件证据,暗示扎克伯格,事件的真相可能恰恰和他声称的相反。

当国会提到他们有电邮证据揭露Instagram收购案的真相时,扎克伯格说:“我不同意对‘窃取对手创意’之类的定性——显然,我们本来也有意在Instagram主打的[移动端照片类社交软件]领域展开竞争。”

与此同时,宾夕法尼亚州第五区的民主党众议员代表玛丽•斯坎伦则对亚马逊提出质疑,称其为收购竞争对手Diapers.com而采取的计划太具有“侵略性”。她质问亚马逊CEO贝佐斯在为何在收购中暂时下调价格,从而让Diapers.com毫无招架之力。而后收购完成时,又再度推高了价格。

贝佐斯则回应道:“我一点也不记得,我们给出的价格一直很有竞争力。”

国会议员们还担忧,亚马逊是否正在通过内部渠道获取第三方卖家的数据,以建立自己的产品供应链,来与这些品牌展开竞争。尽管根据亚马逊的政策,该平台不得查看私人卖家的数据,但事实上,它仍然保留了对这些数据进行汇总分析的权限。

“我不能保证这一政策从未被违反过。”贝佐斯说,“我们会对此事介入调查,暂时不能妄下判断。”

而来自佐治亚州第六选区的民主党代表露西•麦巴斯则播放了一段录音。录音中,一家销量颇高的亚马逊驰名私营书商表示,自己的店铺被亚马逊官方无故撤下了平台,此后书店所提交的申诉请求,包括直接投递给贝佐斯的那些,都没有得到过回应。

“我们并没有违反平台的任何规定。”书店老板在录音中哀求道,“我们店一共有14个人,大家还要生活下去,求求你们让我继续正常经营吧。”

虽然本次听证会尚未提及往后具体的监管措施,但毋庸置疑的是,美国国会正在为科技巨头公司的垄断问题而担忧。纽约州民主党代表杰罗尔德•纳德勒认为,在一个民主社会中,出现过度集中的权力是非常危险的,这四家科技公司尤其需要被密切关注。

然而,威斯康星州第五选区共和党代表吉姆•森森布伦纳认为,比起修改反垄断法,国家更应该把重心放在现有法律的执行上面。“国会应该挑选出合适的‘赢家’与‘输家’,这一点我们总做不好。”他指出:“我们不需要修改反垄断法,我已经得出了结论。”

另一方面,特朗普表示,如果国会在本次听证会后不采取具体的行动,他将会亲自介入。“他们早该干预了,如果国会还是不能监管这些大型科技公司,我就会颁布行政命令来亲自执行。”特朗普于本周三听证会开始前在推特上写道,“多年来,他们在华盛顿一直只说不做,美国人民已经听腻了!”

国会两党在这个问题上的侧重点也不尽相同,这么多年来一直在“科技公司是否未被监管”、“是否要修改法律”上争论不休。民主党人最关注的是科技公司的权力及隐私保护问题,而共和党人更加关心各大平台是否压制了那些保守派的观点。

纵观整场会议,很多国会议员都借此机会强调和“个人利益”这个话题相关的内容,即便这些问题本身与反垄断法无关,“数据隐私”、“内容适度”、“政治偏见”这些关键词被反复提及。亚马逊CEO贝佐斯甚至认为社交媒会伤害到国家民主,“社交媒体是一个微妙的、具有毁灭性的机器。”他说。

事实上,四位CEO都坚持表示自己公司的服务与产品能让消费者获益。同时,他们也聊到了当下激烈的竞争环境。谈及企业的对手时,贝佐斯提到了沃尔玛、塔吉特和开市客的名字,而扎克伯格则将TikTok、苹果、谷歌这些社交媒体及信息服务平台纳入了名单。

“根据我对法律的理解,不能只因为一个公司大,就说它不好。”扎克伯格在会议前的发言中说道,“很多大公司没有竞争意识,所以它们倒闭了。”

美国众议院附属委员会主席及罗德岛州民主党代表大卫•塞西林表示,该委员会将在听证会结束后发布一份具体的调查报告,并制定适当的解决方案。

“这类大型企业都是巨大的垄断势力,有些需要被拆解,有些需要被适当监管。”塞西林说道。(财富中文网)

编译:陈怡轩、陈聪聪

Facebook and Amazon spent much of Wednesday’s congressional antitrust hearing about Big Tech trying to defend accusations that they have participated in aggressive and unfair practices while growing their massive empires.

The five-and-half-hour virtual hearing, hosted by the House Judiciary antitrust subcommittee, gave Congress members the chance to question Apple CEO Tim Cook, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, and Sundar Pichai, CEO of Google’s parent company Alphabet. While Congress members used the opportunity to dig into all four companies, Facebook and Amazon ultimately faced some of the most damning antitrust allegations.

Congress said competitors referred to Amazon as a drug dealer that bullies third-party sellers. And the subcommittee brought up former statements in which Facebook was referred to as going into “destroy mode” amid its attempts to buy Instagram and was characterized as being on a “digital land grab” to maintain its market dominance.

While Zuckerberg disagreed with the description of his company and its practices, he did suggest that Facebook regularly works on products that are inspired by his competitors.

“We've certainly adapted features that others have led in,” Zuckerberg said.

Apple walked away relatively unscathed. Though Congress did address Google stifling small businesses by "stealing" information, including Yelp reviews, Google mostly fielded questions about issues like its work with the U.S. and Chinese governments and data privacy

The antitrust hearing was the first time the four CEOs of some of the largest global tech companies testified before Congress at the same time—and a first for Bezos. It also occurred as the Federal Trade Commission and the Department of Justice continue their antitrust investigations into the four companies. The tech companies have faced rising global scrutiny from regulators and users who are concerned with the amount of data these companies collect, how they manage that data, and their growing power.

U.S. Rep. Pramila Jayapal, a Democrat representing Washington’s 7th congressional district, addressed how Facebook handled its purchase of Instagram and its attempt to buy SnapChat. She accused the social media giant of cloning competitors’ products amid acquisition negotiations with the company. When Zuckerberg said he could not recall any threats to competitors, Jayapal reminded him he was under oath and that the subcommittee had emails suggesting otherwise.

“I want to respectively disagree with the characterization,” Zuckerberg said in reference to emails about Instagram. “It was clear this [mobile cameras] was a space we were going to compete in.”

Meanwhile, Rep. Mary Scanlon, a Democrat who represents Pennsylvania’s 5th district, addressed Amazon’s “aggressive” plan to win over competitor Diapers.com. She questioned Bezos about why the company temporarily slashed prices, making it impossible for Diapers.com to compete. Then when Amazon completed the purchase, the company drove the price up, Scanlon said.

“I don't remember that at all,” Bezos said in response. “We match competitive prices.”

Congress members also expressed concern over whether Amazon is accessing third-party seller data in order to build its own product lines to compete with those brands. Amazon has a policy against viewing individual sellers' data, though it does analyze the data in aggregate.

“I can’t guarantee that policy has never been violated,” Bezos said. “We continue to look into that. We’re not sure we’ve gotten to the bottom of that.”

At one point, Lucy McBath, a Democratic representative from Georgia’s 6th district, played a recording of a top Amazon bookseller who claimed her competing business had been removed from Amazon’s marketplace without reason—and none of her requests for assistance, including those directly to Bezos, were answered.

“We followed all the rules,” the bookseller said in the recording. “There are 14 lives at stake. Please, please, please help us get back on track.”

And while the hearing didn’t point to any specific regulatory action that may follow, it did show that across the aisle, Congress is concerned with the compounding issues related to the tech companies. Jerrold Nadler, a Democrat representing New York, suggested that the concentration of power is dangerous to a Democratic society, and that four tech companies, in particular, deserved a closer look.

But Jim Sensenbrenner, a Republican representing Wisconsin's 5th district, indicated that Congress needed to focus on enforcement of antitrust laws versus altering them. “Congress does a poor job of picking winners and losers,” he said. “I have reached the conclusion we do not need to change our antitrust laws.”

If Congress doesn’t act following the hearing, President Donald Trump has said he intends to step in. “If Congress doesn’t bring fairness to Big Tech, which they should have done years ago, I will do it myself with Executive Orders,” he tweeted prior to the hearing on Wednesday. “In Washington, it has been ALL TALK and NO ACTION for years, and the people of our Country are sick and tired of it!”

Congress members in both parties have been arguing that Big Tech has largely been unregulated and that new laws need to be put in place to rein them in. Democrats have been mostly concerned with the companies’ power and their access to people’s personal data, while Republicans have been concerned with issues like suppressing conservative views across the tech platforms.

As expected, many Congress members took the opportunity to hammer home issues of personal interest, even if they weren’t related to antitrust concerns. Data privacy, content moderation, and political bias were common topics of discussion. Bezos also took the opportunity say, “social media is a nuanced destruction machine,” and is a harm to democracy.

Meanwhile, the four CEOs tried to show that their products and services help consumers, and that they all face competition from numerous other companies. For example, Bezos referred to Walmart, Target, and Costco as primary competitors to Amazon. And Zuckerberg listed companies including TikTok, Apple, and Google, which provide competing social media and messaging services.

“As I understand our laws, companies aren’t bad just because they are big,” Zuckerberg said in his prepared remarks that were released ahead of the hearing. “Many large companies that fail to compete cease to exist.”

Rep. David Cecilline, chair of the subcommittee and a Democratic congressman representing Rhode Island, ended the hearing with next steps. The subcommittee is expected to publish a report with the findings of their investigation and proposed solutions.

“These companies that exist today have monopoly power," he said. "Some need to be broken up, all need to be properly regulated.”

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