Big Tech to Testify: What Jim Cramer Is Watching

Katherine Ross

Big tech CEO's--including Apple, Facebook, Amazon and Alphabet--have agreed to testify in front of the House Judiciary Committee which is probing antitrust issues Wednesday. 

The hearing was previously scheduled for Monday, but was rescheduled due to the funeral proceedings of the late U.S. representative John Lewis. 

Tim Cook of Apple, Sundar Pichai of Google, Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook and Jeff Bezos, of Amazon are set to appear. 

The major technology companies have been facing investigations by the Federal Trade Commission and the Department of Justice, as well as state attorneys general, over concerns about their dominance of key growth areas of the economy.

Among issues under examination is the use of major tech platforms to put competitors at a disadvantage. The companies also face concerns over failures to protect user privacy and over their failure to control the spread of disinformation and hate speech on their platforms.

Federal antitrust investigations of the companies began gathering steam last year. Similar probes have been launched by European regulators In recent weeks, Apple has come under fire for fees charged to developers using its in-app purchasing system.

Amazon's Jeff Bezos, who is newer to the politics of Capitol Hill, is expected to face questions on Amazon's e-commerce dominance as well as private label products. 

Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg will likely see the company's handling of problematic content in focus. 

While the testimonies will certainly make news, Jim Cramer said he isn't so worried about shareholders. "Everybody wants to investigate these companies...but what are you going to do?" Cramer asked. 

Cramer said at the end of the day, he's more worried about the employees of big tech than investors.

And don't expect big tech to exit the headlines any time soon. All four companies are also expected to report quarterly results Thursday. 

What are you watching as big tech takes the podium? Tell us in the comments below. 

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Comments (3)
No. 1-3
BillEnright
BillEnright

Hope it doesn't hurt the stocks too much need these going UP not down

Daniel Martins
Daniel Martins

I have been watching parts of the hearing.

It is a bit frustrating to see how much Congress people insist on asking a question and interrupting the CEOs very frequently as they offer their answers -- suggesting that they are more interested in parading for voters rather than seeking truth. Another tell-tale sign is how much Mr. Pichai is being asked questions about Google's support of the US military, which I don't know how relevant the subject is to antitrust.

So far, Tim Cook has been "grilled" mostly on the App Store, as expected. He has provided very good and firm answers (when allowed to). I continue to think that Apple does not stand to lose much from government scrutiny, as so far the "antitrust case" presented against the company does not look very compelling.

Daniel Martins
Daniel Martins

I have an article soon to be published on Apple Maven regarding the subject and the implications for Apple. Be on the look out for it: https://www.thestreet.com/apple/.

Here are a few of my thoughts: "Alphabet (for its dominance in search), Facebook (social media) and Amazon (e-commerce) stand to lose most from government scrutiny. Regarding the Cupertino company, I see two possible outcomes. A 'slap on the wrist', which I think is the most likely scenario, would probably take the form of a negotiated cash settlement that I think is largely irrelevant to investors. My main concern would be a potential court decision that resembles Judge Thomas Jackson’s initial ruling on Microsoft, in 1999. In this unlikely scenario, Apple's compelling ecosystem could take a hit, which would be bad news for investors".


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