House panel pushes Zuckerberg to testify on Libra
The House Financial Services Committee is turning up the heat as lawmakers push Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg to testify publicly about the company’s plans to launch a new digital currency this year.
The committee has told Facebook that it is not enough for the company’s chief operating officer Sheryl Sandberg – Facebook’s No. 2 in command – to testify on Oct. 29. Lawmakers, led by House Financial Services Chairwoman Maxine Waters (D-Calif.), are insisting the committee will not confirm Sandberg’s October hearing until Zuckerberg agrees to testify before January 2019, a congressional source told The Hill.
“The October hearing with Sandberg is not confirmed until Zuckerberg confirms that he will appear before the committee,” the source said. “The chairwoman has called for him to testify by January.”
Zuckerberg will be asked to testify about the digital coin Libra as well as other issues the committee has jurisdiction over, including data privacy and whether the platform’s online advertising system enables housing, employment or credit discrimination.
Facebook and a committee spokeswoman declined to comment.
For months, Waters has said publicly that she is planning to haul Zuckerberg before the committee to testify about his company’s new digital currency project Libra. The project has sent shockwaves throughout the financial world as regulators and policymakers grapple with how the current system can deal with the rise of a digital currency from a powerhouse like Facebook, which has over 2 billion users worldwide.
“We’ll have hearings, we’re going to continue to have investigations, we’re going to get Zuckerberg here,” Waters told The Hill in July, shortly after Facebook sent top Libra executive David Marcus to testify on the project in a pair of testy Capitol Hill hearings.