MEPs Delay Hearing With Tech CEOs ‘By Two Months’

The European Parliament has said it is willing to push back a hearing with the chief executives of major US tech companies by two months, as it prepares a major regulatory overhaul.

In January EU lawmakers had invited the chief executives of Amazon, Apple, Facebook and Google to remotely attend the hearing in Brussels.

The hearing was originally scheduled for Monday, 1 February.

The European Parliament’s economic affairs committee, which sent the original invitations, said in a letter that it is “willing to consider rescheduling and looking into alternative dates later than the originally planned date of Feb. 1”, Reuters reported.

Image credit: European Parliament


The letter suggested another date in February or March.

However, the companies are reportedly unlikely to be willing to make their chief executives available, preferring to send senior executives with expertise in competition and tax issues.

In December the European Commission unveiled proposed regulations aimed at curtailing the powers of major tech platforms and forcing them to take more responsibility for illegal content, goods and services.

Over the coming months the European Parliament is to begin evaluating the proposed rules, called the Digital Services Act (DSA) and the Digital Markets Act (DMA).

The virtual hearing is intended to allow tech companies to provide input on their business models and future plans as they “face the challenges of altering market conditions”, MEPs’ original invitation said.


It emphasised that the invitation was extended to “CEOs only”.

The Financial Times reported that MEPs are threatening sanctions for failure to participate in the hearings, including barring company lobbyists from future parliamentary meetings.

However, such a ban could be difficult to implement for practical or legal reasons.

The companies’ unwillingness to participate in EU proceedings contrasts to the situation in the US, where their chief executives have appeared before Congress in high-profile hearings.

Vestager said in December that the EU would be willing to use the new regulations to “impose structural remedies [and] divestitures” on tech firms that abuse their market dominance.

Matthew Broersma

Matt Broersma is a long standing tech freelance, who has worked for Ziff-Davis, ZDnet and other leading publications

Recent Posts

Tesla Settles Lawsuit Against Ex Staffer Over Source Code

Tesla settles lawsuit against former employee who allegedly copied source code the Autopilot, before leaving…

3 days ago

Apple $200m ‘Restore Fund’ Targets Climate Change

Apple reveals $200 million investment fund called the 'Restore Fund', to remove carbon emissions and…

3 days ago

EU’s Proposed Rules For AI Usage Leaked Online

Leaked document shows European regulators are considering ban on indiscriminate surveillance and AI use in…

3 days ago

US Hits Russia With Fresh Sanctions Over Solarwinds Hack, Expels Diplomats

President Joe Biden signs executive order and imposes more sanctions on Russia over SolarWinds hack,…

4 days ago

Jeff Bezos Urges Amazon Staff Focus In Final Shareholder Letter

World's richest man Jeff Bezos urges Amazon to focus on its 1.3 million staff in…

4 days ago

Dell To Offload Ownership Stake In VMware

The valuable 81 percent ownership stake in VMware held by Dell Technologies is to be…

4 days ago