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An Important Week for the Tech Industry

Another Hearing With Tech CEOs

Yesterday, CEOs of three major social-media companies testified virtually in front of the Senate Commerce Committee. The hearing, featuring Facebook (FB) CEO Mark Zuckerberg, Twitter (TWTR) CEO Jack Dorsey, and Google (GOOGL) CEO Sundar Pichai, centered around how these companies deal with users expressing political opinions on the three platforms.

Lawmakers on both sides of the aisle have voiced concerns about how the three companies do, or do not, moderate political content. Much of yesterday’s discussion centered around Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, which protects social media companies from being liable for user-posted content. The law has been in place since the 1990s but has recently been criticized by both Democrats and Republicans. All three tech CEOs expressed how important the law is for their companies.

Discussions of Section 230

Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey argued yesterday that Section 230 has given smaller social media companies the ability to compete with larger, better-funded companies. He said changes to Section 230 could also lead to more content being removed on social media platforms. Dorsey faced particular scrutiny during yesterday’s hearings as he was questioned about Twitter’s decisions to block or mute various political tweets.

Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of Facebook, also voiced support for keeping Section 230, but said the government ought to play a more active part in regulating tech companies. Additionally, Sundar Pichai, CEO of Google, made arguments for keeping Section 230 in place, saying the law is one of the reasons why the US is a leader in the technology sector.

Earnings Reports to Watch

As investors analyze this latest conversation between tech CEOs and lawmakers, they will also be examining earnings reports from tech powerhouses Apple (AAPL), Amazon (AMZN), Alphabet (GOOGL), Microsoft (MSFT), and Facebook (FB) this week. Together, these companies have a market capitalization of $7 trillion. Their earnings reports could have a large impact on the cap-weighted S&P 500.

Microsoft reported earnings after the bell on Tuesday. The company beat expectations thanks to strong demand for its cloud services and gaming products. The other four tech titans will report after the bell today. Investors will be eager to see how these companies performed during an unprecedented summer, and how decisions from Capitol Hill could impact

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