Worst zoom quiz ever? Tech glitch lets Jeff Bezos escape an hour of antitrust questioning
A congressional aide said it was “not clear” what happened with Amazon's virtual feed
July 30, 2020 / 12:02 PM IST
Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, escaped close to an hour of questioning from high-profile lawmakers from the United States House of Representatives, in relation to an antitrust hearing held via video conference on July 29 due to tech glitches.
In the meantime, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and Alphabet Head Sundar Pichai were grilled on alleged abuses of market power. Bezos had his turn later, however, and was questioned intensely on the same.
Notably, Bezos’ was not a stray issue. During the video conference, the committee took a 10-minute break to fix technical issues faced by those in the hearing room.
Overall, the video conference was plagued by poor audio quality, flat-screen televisions going off, and the CEOs appearing together as thumbnails on a large screen – all of which was met with much commentary on Twitter, where viewers jibed at the set-up necessitated by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Among those included Emily Bell, director of the Tow Center for Digital Journalism at Columbia University, who tweeted: "Worst zoom quiz night ever," with a photo of the glitched thumbnails onscreen.
Another Twitter user @ratemyskyperoom judged CEO’s surroundings after another glitch showed the executives individually on large screens, while others criticised the audio quality.
A congressional aide with direct knowledge of the matter told Reuters it was “not clear” what happened with Amazon's virtual feed.
Meanwhile, the committee and Amazon are yet to issue comments on the incident.(With inputs from Reuters)