Zuckerberg will be the only witness present at a hearing scheduled for 23 October next, having as its object the examination of the Facebook's role in financial services. The members of the Chamber have long pushed for Zuckerberg to testify about their cryptocurrency programs, the Libra project, and finally he finally got a direct confrontation with the top manager of the social network.
The president of the Committee, Maxine Waters, had previously asked Facebook to stop the implementation of the cryptocurrency Pound before the hearing with the project management. Given the lack of formal commitment by David Marcus, responsible for Facebook's cryptographic projects, to postpone the company's plans, Waters did not appear to be willing to take on Zuckeberg.
Since then, however, several international authorities have expressed concern about Libra and one of the original financiers of the project, PayPal has already withdrawn. Other corporate lenders such as Visa and Mastercard are also reconsidering their roles, the Wall Street Journal reported, while on Tuesday, two members of the Senate Banking Commission sent letters to the CEOs of Visa, Mastercard and Stripe to urge them to consider carefully how their companies will manage the risks of the Libra project, before proceeding further.
The hearing will be a rare opportunity for lawmakers to "beat" the Facebook manager in public. Zuckerberg recently returned to Washington for his first official visit after his 2018 testimonies of the scandal Cambridge Analytica. But at the time, Zuckerberg talked to legislators only behind closed doors.
According to analysts, the fact that Zuckerberg has agreed to testify before US lawmakers marks a clear change of course: his willingness to meet with parliamentary representatives may indeed mean that, after some more independent stance, Zuckerberg would not disdain to find a better welcome by legislative summits.
Not only. According to many American observers, the testimony could also play an important role in the many antitrust investigations that Facebook is facing. The company is under scrutiny by Federal Trade Commission investigators, a coalition of state attorneys general and the Chamber Judiciary Commission for its competitive practices.