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'Quote of 2020': World's richest man's 'relatable' tech stuff up

·3-min read
Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos testifies remotely during a House Judiciary subcommittee hearing on antitrust on Capitol Hill on Wednesday, July 29, 2020, in Washington. (Mandel Ngan/Pool via AP)
Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos testifies remotely during a House Judiciary subcommittee hearing on antitrust on Capitol Hill on Wednesday, July 29, 2020, in Washington. (Mandel Ngan/Pool via AP)

It’s a tale as old as March 2020: you go to say something in a Zoom meeting, only to be told by several slightly amused, slightly smug colleagues that your connection is on the fritz, or worse - you’re on mute.

It’s just part of the new world of work, and even Amazon founder and world’s richest man Jeff Bezos isn’t immune to it.

Appearing at the House Judiciary Committee's antitrust panel via video-conferencing, Bezos tried to respond to a question from Congressman Greg Steube about whether China was known to steal American tech companies’ technology, only to be told he was on mute.

“Mr Bezos? You're on mute,” Steube said.

Another member of the panel helpfully added, “Uh, Mr Bezos - I believe you’re on mute.”

Bezos quickly turned his microphone on and apologised before responding.

“I’ve heard many reports of that, I haven’t seen it personally but I’ve heard many reports of it,” Bezos said.

“Certainly there are knock-off products if that’s what you mean and there are counterfeit products and all of that.”

Viewers on Twitter delighted in the relatable stuff up.

“Finally something I have in common with a $100+ billionaire,” one person commented. Bezos is worth US$180 billion, according to Forbes.

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“The most relatable part of this entire congressional hearing,” added another.

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“We've all been there,” added another.

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Bezos appeared alongside Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, Apple’s Tim Cook and Google’s Sundar Pichai at the high-profile hearing about the size and market dominance of the tech companies.

The hearing aimed to find out if the major firms had been carrying out anti-competitive behaviour.

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