The Latest: Facebook won’t commit to starting small on Libra

Technology
David Cicilline, Jim Sensenbrenner

Rep. David Cicilline, D-R.I., left, chair of the House Judiciary antitrust subcommittee, speaks alongside ranking member, Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner, R-Wisc., during a House Judiciary subcommittee hearing with representatives from major tech companies, Tuesday, July 16, 2019, on Capitol Hill in Washington. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Latest on congressional hearings on the reach of big tech (all times local):

12:40 p.m.

Facebook is moving forward on an ambitious plan for a new digital currency and won’t commit to U.S. lawmakers’ requests that it start small.

Facebook executive David Marcus, who’s leading the Libra currency project, tried to dodge a question Wednesday during a hearing of the House Financial Services Committee.

Marcus was asked by New York Democratic Rep. Carolyn Maloney if Facebook would commit to doing a small pilot program first to address numerous concerns from U.S. officials, both Democrats and Republicans.

Marcus says Facebook will launch the project responsibly and make sure there’s “appropriate oversight.”

Maloney says if Facebook can’t commit to a pilot test, “Congress should seriously consider stopping this project from moving forward.”

Wednesday’s House hearing follows a testy Senate banking hearing Tuesday on Facebook’s currency proposal.

___

4:30 a.m.

Technology giants are getting a tough reception in Congress as lawmakers focus on their potentially anticompetitive behavior and big plans for new disruptive products.

Both Democrats and Republicans had grievances to air in hearings Tuesday. An afternoon panel of the House Judiciary Committee focused on whether it’s time for Congress to rein in allegedly anticompetitive behavior by the likes of Amazon, Google, Facebook and Apple.

Earlier in the day, Facebook faced bipartisan concern from a Senate committee examining its big plan to create its own digital currency. Many lawmakers expressed disbelief that Facebook could be trusted with such responsibility.

Copyright 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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