As Congress continues to study business practice Amazon (AMZN), Apple (AAPL), Google Owner Alphabet (GOOGL) and Facebook (FB), a new IBD / TIPP poll shows that a majority of Americans support the separation of the four tech giants to prevent them from becoming a monopoly.
Opinions differ as to whether the four tech giants are approaching monopoly status or already have such market dominance. When asked about each company individually, 57% said they supported the separation of Facebook to prevent it becoming a monopoly, while 25% opposed it.
When asked about Google, 54% of respondents supported the gap and 29% opposed it.
In addition, 53% were in favor of closing Amazon and 30% were against. According to an IBD / TIPP survey, 50% of respondents felt the same way about Apple, compared with 29% against.
IBD / TIPP Survey: Concerns About Price Increases
Among the reasons given, 71% of the respondents were concerned, to one degree or another, that monopolistic practices would lead to higher prices. And 66% think it will lead to fewer choices. Equally important, 73% are concerned that small businesses are facing a disadvantage.
Originally in 2019, Congress launched an investigation to determine if tech giants are using their size and strength to fight competitors or to disadvantage consumers. Hearings are ongoing, to varying degrees, at both the state and federal levels. In mid-April, the Judicial Committee of the US House of Representatives formally approved a report in which large tech companies are accused of buying or killing smaller firms.
Congress also held hearings to update or repeal Section 230, one of the key laws that fueled the rapid development of the Internet.
Tech giants also face increasingly hostile foreign governments that tax their profits, try to stop acquisitions, label them as monopolies, and pass laws to limit their powers.
In an IBD / TIPP survey, 66% cited this as a concern when asked if the growing influence of big tech companies like Amazon, Apple, Google and Facebook is diminishing the ability to receive news and opinions from multiple perspectives.
In addition, 73% expressed concerns about less privacy. 73% also expressed concern about the misuse or compromise of personal data.
Restrictions on freedom of speech
When asked whether consumers face restrictions on freedom of speech and expression, 64% cited this as a problem. Republicans have criticized big tech companies for allegedly censoring conservative language.
Facebook shares fell 0.6%, around 322.90, during today’s daytime stock market activity. Amazon shares fell 1.7%, about 3406. Alphabet fell 1%, about 2355 points. Apple shares added 1% to around 132.75.
The online survey, conducted from April 28 to April 30, involved 1,300 adults. The IBD / TIPP survey is the result of a collaboration between Investor’s Business Daily and TechnoMetrica.
Follow Brian Digon on Twitter at @IBD_BDeagon for more information on technology stocks, analysis, and financial markets.
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