- Mark Zuckerberg will argue before Congress that Facebook’s acquisitions of companies like Instagram and WhatsApp are good for competition, according to a copy of his prepared remarks obtained by Business Insider.
- Zuckerberg is set to testify on Wednesday before the House Antitrust Subcommittee, which is investigating whether the company engaged in anticompetitive behavior.
- The CEOs of Amazon, Apple, and Google’s parent company Alphabet will also face questions from members of Congress at the hearing on Wednesday.
- Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg will defend the company’s astronomical growth to Congress by arguing that its acquisitions have benefitted the broader tech landscape, according to prepared remarks released ahead of his Wednesday testimony.
Zuckerberg will face questions from the House Antitrust Subcommittee on Wednesday, along with Jeff Bezos of Amazon, Sundar Pichai of Alphabet, and Tim Cook of Apple. The subcommittee, part of the House Judiciary Committee, is nearing the end of a months-long investigation into whether the tech giants used their market dominance to quash competition.
“Our acquisitions have helped drive innovation for people who use our own products and services and for the broader startup community. Acquisitions bring together different companies’ complementary strengths,” Zuckerberg will say, according to the prepared remarks. “When you acquire a company, you can benefit from their technology and talent, and when you are acquired you get access to resources and people you otherwise might never have been able to tap into.”
Facebook has already come under scrutiny for its past acquisitions, which critics say Facebook has used as a tactic to neutralize competition threats. The company recently acquired Giphy for $400 million — antitrust watchdogs said Giphy’s reach across the web could help expand Facebook’s already gargantuan ad-tracking operation.
Before that, Facebook’s acquisition of Instagram and WhatsApp in 2012 and 2014, respectively, cemented it as a global tech giant. In 2013, Facebook purchased Onavo Mobile, an app that uses AI to identify other companies that could make for good purchases. (Facebook later shut down the app after controversy.)
In his prepared remarks, Zuckerberg also presents Facebook’s growth as crucial to keep the US competitive with China, framing its continued success as patriotic. Years before taking that stance, Facebook tried unsuccessfully to push into the Chinese market but retreated after it was unable to reach a deal with government officials there.
“China is building its own version of the internet focused on very different ideas, and they are exporting their vision to other countries. As Congress and other stakeholders consider how antitrust laws support competition in the U.S., I believe it’s important to maintain the core values of openness and fairness that have made America’s digital economy a force for empowerment and opportunity here and around the world,” Zuckerberg said in the remarks.
He framed competition as a constant element of Facebook’s existence in the prepared remarks, and used growing concerns of China’s tech presence to argue Facebook’s necessity.
“Several years ago, Facebook moved our headquarters to the campus where Sun Microsystems used to be. We kept their sign out front, on the back of ours, to remind us that things change fast in tech. I’ve long believed that the nature of our industry is that someday a product will replace Facebook,” Zuckerberg said. “I want us to be the ones that build it, because if we don’t, someone else will.”