Facebook’s Zuckerberg to defend company before U.S. Congress by listing competitors

FILE PHOTO: Facebook Chairman and CEO Mark Zuckerberg testifies at a House Financial Services Committee hearing in Washington, U.S., October 23, 2019. REUTERS/Erin Scott

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Facebook Inc’s (FB.O) chief executive, Mark Zuckerberg, will defend the social media company before a congressional hearing on Wednesday by saying it faces intense competition, justifying its acquisitions and pointing to China’s growth as an internet superpower.

Zuckerberg’s written testimony, made public on Tuesday, argues that the social media company became successful “the American way, by starting out with nothing and providing products that people find valuable.

“We compete against the companies appearing at this hearing, plus many others that sell advertising and connect people. We also compete globally, including against companies that have access to markets that we aren’t in,” Zuckerberg will tell a panel of lawmakers investigating how its business practices and data gathering have hurt smaller rivals.

Also testifying are the CEOs of Amazon.com Inc (AMZN.O), Alphabet Inc’s Google (GOOGL.O) and Apple Inc APPL.O. reut.rs/2DhrEFT

Zuckerberg will also defend Facebook’s acquisitions by saying the social-media platform helped companies like WhatsApp and Instagram grow. Both are owned by Facebook.

He will also remind lawmakers of the competitive threat U.S. tech companies face from China, saying the Asian country is building its “own version of the internet focused on very different ideas, and they are exporting their vision to other countries.”

Zuckerberg also renewed Facebook’s call for government regulation. He has previously called for more laws in areas where the company has been criticized – such as harmful content in social media, election integrity and privacy.

Reporting by David Shepardson, Nandita Bose and Diane Bartz in Washington; Editing by Matthew Lewis

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