But policymakers and experts on the right have argued that efforts to protect consumer privacy and bolster competition may work at cross purposes. Roslyn Layton, a scholar who testified at the hearing, said Europe’s General Data Protection Regulation, which was created to let people request their online data, had simply entrenched the tech giants by burdening start-ups that could challenge them.
In August, Noah Phillips, a Republican member of the F.T.C., said in a statement that Google had cut off third parties’ access to certain data last year, potentially hurting their ability to compete with the search giant while bolstering user privacy. He said that privacy “is important” but that consumers “and policymakers alike must recognize, however, that it comes with trade-offs.”
The House antitrust investigation is expected to continue into 2020. Last month, the committee asked tech companies for a tranche of documents, including emails from top executives like Larry Page of Google, Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook and Jeff Bezos of Amazon. The panel also contacted more than 80 companies for information about competing with the four major players.
Mr. Cicilline said on Friday that the committee had received “tens of thousands” of documents in response to its requests.
“Our hope is to conclude our evidence collection end of this year, beginning of next year, with the idea that we will have a final report and set of recommendations in the first part of next year, providing us enough time to act on that” before the end of the current congressional session, he said.