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Amazon, Apple, Facebook and Google grilled on Capitol Hill over their market power

Tech CEOs Jeff Bezos, Tim Cook, Sundar Pichai and Mark Zuckerberg visited Capitol Hill to discuss their companies' dominance in the tech market. (Video: The Washington Post, Photo: Graeme Jennings/Pool via AP/The Washington Post)

The leaders of Amazon, Apple, Facebook and Google took a brutal political lashing Wednesday as Democrats and Republicans confronted the executives for wielding their market power to crush competitors and amass data, customers and sky-high profits.

The rare interrogation played out over the course of a nearly six-hour hearing, with lawmakers on the House’s top antitrust subcommittee coming armed with millions of documents, hundreds of hours of interviews and in some cases the once-private messages of Silicon Valley’s elite chiefs. They said it showed some in the tech sector had become too big and powerful, threatening rivals, consumers and, in some cases, even democracy itself.

“Our founders would not bow before a king. Nor should we bow before the emperors of the online economy,” said Rep. David N. Cicilline (D-R.I.).

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