Facebook boss Mark Zuckerberg is reportedly preparing to answer US lawmakers’ questions in Congress in what would be a rare appearance by a Silicon Valley chief executive.
A date has not yet been confirmed but Mr Zuckerberg has “come to terms” with the fact that he will have to testify in a matter of weeks, CNN and the Washington Post reported.
The social media giant is facing unprecedented scrutiny following reports that a data mining firm used data from tens of millions of Facebook users to try to influence elections.
A spokeswoman for the House of Representatives Energy and Commerce Committee denied Mr Zuckerberg’s attendance had been confirmed, saying the reports were “incorrect”.
But she added the committee is “continuing to work with Facebook to determine a day and time for Mr Zuckerberg to testify.”
The chief executives of technology giants rarely appear at US congressional inquiries and generate widespread media interest when they do.
Mr Zuckerberg would be the first since Apple chief executive Tim Cook testified about his company’s tax practices in 2013.
News of the possible appearance came hours after the Facebook founder refused an invitation to testify before British MPs in the House of Commons.
The Commons committee chair Damian Collins said it was “absolutely astonishing” Mr Zuckerberg would not appear in person “given these are questions of fundamental importance and concern to his users, as well as to this inquiry.”
Facebook offered to send its chief technology officer Mike Schroepfer and Chris Cox, its chief product officer, to Westminster instead.