Mad Money

Big Tech hearing a chance to 'rake the ultra-rich over the coals,' Jim Cramer says

Key Points
  • "I come to praise the titans of tech, not bury them," CNBC's Jim Cramer said in defending Facebook, Amazon, Apple and Alphabet as their chief executives testified in front of a congressional subcommittee.
  • These companies are the "best things the American economy has going for it" and the hearings "feel more like an opportunity to rake the ultra-rich over the coals," the "Mad Money" host said.
  • "In an increasingly globalized economy, maybe America needs some national champions of its own," he said.
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Big Tech hearing a chance to 'rake the ultra-rich over the coals,' Jim Cramer says

CNBC's Jim Cramer on Wednesday bemoaned the congressional hearing on antitrust claims in Big Tech, arguing that the companies included in the event should be considered America's "national champions" in a globalized world.

Another company in Microsoft, which was not summoned in the hearing, can also be considered among the prized group, he said.

"I come to praise the titans of tech, not bury them," the "Mad Money" host said, in an effort to "reframe" the discussion after the chief executives of Facebook, Amazon, Apple and Alphabet's Google testified Wednesday afternoon in front of a House Judiciary subcommittee.

These companies are the "best things the American economy has going for it" and the hearings "feel more like an opportunity to rake the ultra-rich over the coals," he said.

The hearing marked the first time all four executives — Amazon's Jeff Bezos, Apple's Tim Cook, Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg and Google's Sundar Pichai — appeared before Congress at the same time.

America is the "top dog" in many parts of the technology industry, particularly those that big tech deals in, and the country needs to leverage tech to stay competitive with the rest of the world, especially an ascendant China, Cramer said.

While he's in favor of implementing regulations to reign in the business practices of the tech behemoths, including abusing their market powers, Cramer cast doubt about a divided Congress' ability to come to an agreement on a set of rules.

In Wednesday's hearing, Facebook's Zuckerberg was bashed for acquiring WhatsApp, then a nascent rival messaging app, for $19 billion in 2014.

Amazon's Bezos was questioned about using third-party seller data to gain a competitive edge on products the online retail giant sells.

Google's Pichai, who added the title of Alphabet CEO in December, was grilled on the company's China connections after dropping out of the U.S. Department of Defense's $10 billion Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure, or JEDI, cloud project deal. The chief was also questioned about its now-abandoned work on a Chinese search engine project called Dragonfly.

Meanwhile, Apple's Cook was pressed on how the company's equal treatment of developers on its App Store. The company has been dogged for taking a 30% cut of sales on in-app payments.

Cramer, though, said he is taking the other side of the coin.

"Every other industrialized [country] has so-called national champions. These are companies that let them compete worldwide and their governments bend over backwards to give them an edge," he said. "In an increasingly globalized economy, maybe America needs some national champions of its own."

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Jim Cramer: I come to praise the titans of tech, not bury them

Disclosure: Cramer's charitable trust owns shares of Alphabet, Amazon, Apple, Facebook and Microsoft.

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