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Recode Daily: Congress wants to hear from Facebook, Google and Twitter

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Facebook, Google and Twitter have been asked to testify before the Senate Intelligence Committee in November about Russian interference in the 2016 election; the House Intelligence Committee will conduct its own hearing with those companies in October. Twitter will be briefing Congress about the same topic in private today. [Tony Romm / Recode]

Meanwhile, Donald Trump and Mark Zuckerberg faced off. Trump, via Twitter, accused Facebook of being “always anti-Trump” and in “collusion” with newspapers and TV networks against him. Zuckerberg responded, on Facebook, arguing that since both pro- and anti-Trump sides were upset with Facebook, it must be doing something right. He did say he was wrong to dismiss as “crazy” the idea that Facebook may have influenced the 2016 election. [Kurt Wagner / Recode]

Roku raised $219 million in an IPO, and starts trading today at $14 a share. The company is transitioning from a streaming video device company to a streaming video service company, which means much higher margins. [Wall Street Journal]

Trump’s proposed tax reform plan would drop corporate rates from 35 percent to below 20 percent, and would change how tech giants and other business are taxed on profits earned overseas. And the Trump administration now has its first antitrust enforcer — corporate lawyer Makan Delrahim will helm the Justice Department’s Antitrust Division, which polices competition and reviews major tech and telecom mergers. [Tony Romm / Recode]

Amazon rolled out a squad of Alexa-powered Echo devices yesterday — five different form factors for different use cases, including a smaller, cheaper upgrade to the original; tiny ones called Echo Buttons; a touchscreen alarm clock; and even one that will turn your home phone line into an Alexa-powered speakerphone. [Shannon Liao / The Verge]

Take time to read up on Anthony Levandowski, the very well-paid engineer at the heart of the lawsuit between Uber and Alphabet’s Waymo. Among the revelations: The multimillionaire robotics whiz founded an AI-centered religion called Way of the Future. [Mark Harris / Wired]

Playboy founder Hugh Hefner is dead at 91. The company he founded in 1953 said he died of natural causes. [New York Times]


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