In a recent poll, a massive two-thirds of U.S. citizens who participated agreed that the proposed breakup of America’s so-called “Big Tech” firms — namely Facebook, Apple, Google, and Amazon — is a good idea. This is especially true if the transition into several smaller, less powerful organizations results in a more competitive marketplace. Vox published the results of the poll created by Data for Progress in collaboration with YouGov Blue. If these companies are separated, the decision would likely include the reversal of acquisitions such as Facebook’s 2012 purchase of Instagram.
A primary point of contention for the American people is how Google and Amazon prioritize search results that are more profitable for them. Examples of this include pay per click advertisers in the case of Google or Amazon’s branded AmazonBasics product lines appearing first in the case of the enormous online superstore. In instances where any content is prioritized in this way, seven of 10 Americans agreed that breaking up Big Tech is a good idea.
In order to get an even spread, participants in the poll spanned various political ideologies, age groups, education levels, and other demographics.
One interesting find from the data is that the polar ends of the political spectrum appear to be especially enthusiastic about the move to break up Big Tech. On the issue of profitable content being prioritized, 56 percent of the far left and 47 percent of the far right groups strongly supported the idea. The vast majority of the results across the board saw voters fall into either the “strongly support” or “somewhat support” categories.
The topic has been gathering momentum since the Department of Justice’s announcement in July that there will be a sweeping review of these companies to check that they’re not in violation of antitrust laws. As The Inquisitr reported earlier this month, while monopolies are not illegal in and of themselves, the use of power to bully — or simply buy out — any potential competition is against the law. These four tech giants have found themselves potentially standing accused of various violations of this nature.
In a press release available on CNN, among many other outlets, the Antitrust Division’s Assistant Attorney General Makan Delrahim said that his department will “explore these important issues.”
“Without the discipline of meaningful market-based competition, digital platforms may act in ways that are not responsive to consumer demands…The Department’s antitrust review will explore these important issues…”
On the Justice.gov website, the department stated it “will consider the widespread concerns that consumers, businesses, and entrepreneurs have expressed about search, social media, and some retail services online.”