As Congress continues to examine the business practices of Amazon (AMZN), Apple (AAPL), Google-owner Alphabet (GOOGL) and Facebook (FB), a new IBD/TIPP Poll says a majority of Americans support breaking up the four tech giants to prevent them from becoming monopolies.
Opinions vary as to whether the four tech giants are approaching monopoly status or already have that kind of market dominance. Asked about each company individually, 57% said they support breaking up Facebook to prevent it from becoming a monopoly, while 25% opposed.
Asked about Google, 54% of respondents supported a breakup while 29% opposed.
Also, 53% called for the breakup of Amazon, with 30% against. And 50% felt the same about Apple, compared with 29% against, according to the IBD/TIPP Poll.
IBD/TIPP Poll: Concerns About Higher Prices
Among the reasons given, a hefty 71% of respondents were concerned, by varying degrees, that monopolistic practices would lead to higher prices. And 66% felt it would lead to fewer choices. Equally significant, 73% worried smaller businesses faced a disadvantage.
Congressional probes initially began in 2019 to determine if tech giants use their size and strength to fight off competitors or to disadvantage consumers. Hearings have continued to varying degrees at both the state and federal levels. In mid-April, the U.S. House of Representatives Judiciary Committee formally approved a report accusing Big Tech companies of buying or crushing smaller firms.
Congress has also held hearings on whether to update or eliminate Section 230, one of the key laws that fueled the rapid rise of the internet.
Tech giants also face increasingly hostile foreign governments that are taxing their profits, attempting to halt their acquisitions, labeling them as monopolies and passing laws to limit their powers.
In the IBD/TIPP poll, 66% called it a concern when asked if the growing influence of large technology companies like Amazon, Apple, Google and Facebook weakens the ability to get news and opinions from different points of view.
Also, 73% expressed concern over less privacy. And 73% also voiced worries about the misuse or compromise of personal data.
Limitations On Freedom Of Speech
Asked if consumers face limitations on freedom of speech and expression, 64% called that a concern. Republicans have criticized Big Tech companies for allegedly censoring conservative speech.
Facebook stock dipped 0.6%, near 322.90, during afternoon action on the stock market today. Amazon stock fell 1.7%, near 3,406. Alphabet slid 1%, near 2,355. Apple edged up 1%, near 132.75.
Conducted from April 28 to April 30, the online poll consisted of 1,300 adults. The IBD/TIPP poll is a collaboration of Investor’s Business Daily and TechnoMetrica.
Please follow Brian Deagon on Twitter at @IBD_BDeagon for more on tech stocks, analysis and financial markets.
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