Alphabet, Facebook, Twitter CEOs Asked to Appear at Senate Hearing

A Senate committee plans to subpoena the CEOs of Alphabet, Facebook and Twitter if they don’t consent to appear before the panel, a media report says.
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The Senate Commerce Committee has asked the CEOs of Alphabet  (GOOGL) - Get Report, Facebook  (FB) - Get Report and Twitter  (TWTR) - Get Report to appear before the panel Oct. 1 during a hearing about liability protection for their online content, a media report says.

The panel plans to subpoena the chiefs if by Thursday night they don’t consent to appear, according to a committee e-mail obtained by Politico. 

The CEOs are Sundar Pichai of Alphabet, Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook and Jack Dorsey of Twitter.

The e-mail came from a top assistant to committee Chairman Roger Wicker (R-Mississippi). It said that the CEOs’ presence has been requested, and "unless we receive a very prompt affirmative response, we will be issuing the subpoenas," Politico reports.

At issue is a 1996 law protecting Internet companies from getting sued over content provided by users. On Wednesday, the Justice Department submitted a proposal to Congress of ways to limit their protection.

The Trump administration says it wants online services to curb illegal content and manage content on their sites in what it views as a fair manner.

President Donald Trump has complained about Facebook and Twitter taking down or warning about his posts that contain falsehoods. He’s particularly concerned about actions that could hurt him politically ahead of the Nov. 3 election.

Alphabet shares recently traded at $1,427.78, up 1.3%. The stock has climbed 7% so far this year.

Facebook recently traded at $250.75, up 0.7%. It has gained 22% year to date. 

Twitter recently traded at $43.40, down 4.3%. It has risen 35% year to date.