EU lawmakers, Amazon, Apple, Facebook, Google hearing pushed back by two months

By Foo Yun Chee

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – EU lawmakers, who are gearing up to curb the power of U.S. tech giants, have told Amazon, Apple, Facebook and Alphabet that they are willing to push back a proposed Feb. 1 hearing by two months.

The European Parliament had earlier this month invited the chief executives of the four tech companies to a hearing in Brussels to help them prepare their input into new tough rules proposed by the European Commission.

EU antitrust regulators want the four to end business practices aimed at cementing their dominance and blocking smaller rivals as well as do more to take down illegal and harmful content on their platforms or face hefty fines.

Parliament’s economic affairs committee, which sent out the invitations, is “willing to consider rescheduling and looking into alternative dates later than the originally planned date of Feb. 1”, according to a letter seen by Reuters.

Lawmakers said they were open to another date in February or March. However, people familiar with the situation have already said the companies’ CEOs are unlikely to take up the invitation, preferring instead to send senior executives should the event take place.

(Reporting by Foo Yun Chee, editing by Louise Heavens)

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