Scoop: Microsoft's Brad Smith to testify at antitrust hearing

Ashley Gold
·1 min read

Microsoft president Brad Smith will testify before a House antitrust subcommittee hearing next Friday about tech antitrust and the news media, sources familiar with the situation tell Axios.

What's happening: The House Judiciary antitrust subcommittee is holding hearings this spring to follow up on its year-long investigation and expansive report into Big Tech and antitrust. The committee says these hearings will help form legislation.

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Why it matters: Smith, who has supported antitrust laws related to media and tech abroad, is also supporting action in the U.S. — a shot across the bow to his tech competitors.

  • Smith previously expressed his support for such laws in a blog post, and his testimony at the March 12 hearing is the next step in showing Microsoft will be supporting any U.S. attempts to pass antitrust laws for media and tech.

  • Smith also publicly supported Australia's news media code, which forces tech giants like Google and Facebook to pay news publishers for their content or be fined.

  • His motivations are tied to Microsoft's search engine Bing, which he thinks has a chance to compete with Google if such laws are passed.

What they're saying: Rep. David Cicilline (D-RI) told Axios the committee was taking a close look at Australia's effort as it refines its own proposals.

  • Microsoft didn't immediately respond to a request for comment.

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