by Brandon Butler
Devastating Testimony from Small Companies Trying to Compete with Big Tech 1/17/2020

Nilay Patel took to Twitter during the Sonos, Tile, Basecamp, and PopSocket testimony with Congress today talking competition with Big Tech like Apple, Google, and Amazon. Some choice tweets:

@reckless: “Apple is acting as a gatekeeper to applications and technologies in a way that favors its own interests,” says Daru. “You might be the best soccer team, but you’re playing against a team that owns the stadium, the ball, and the league, and can change the rules when it wants.”

@reckless:(This hearing is devastating so far — these are all things every tech reporter has heard from smaller companies in whispers and off the record before, but now it’s all out there, on the record, to Congress.)

@reckless: What is your response to Google saying it faces “intense competition in search?” [@dhh] says “this is like Facebook saying it faces competition from sleep. Google is… saying searching Etsy is a kind of search. It’s not. If you search the internet, Google is it.”

@reckless: “The problem is that they’ve replaced the search engine with an ad engine instead,” says @dhh. “The organic search term does not matter anymore, the only thing that matters is buying the advertising… now we have to pay Google for our own name… it’s a complete shakedown.”

You can watch the whole hearing and read more about the testimony from Adi Robertson’s reporting at The Verge.