New poll shows voters support tech regulation, but give it low priority
Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos speaks via video conference during a hearing of the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Antitrust, Commercial and Administrative Law on ‘Online Platforms and Market Power’, in the Rayburn House office building in Capitol Hill, Washington, United States on July 29. 2020.
Graeme Jennings | Swimming pool via REUTERS
Voters favor technology regulation but are less supportive of measures they perceive to hamper their preferred services, according to one survey conducted by Morning Consult and commissioned by technology-funded advocacy group Chamber of Progress.
The results of the inquiry come Wednesday, just hours before the House Judiciary Committee debates a series of antitrust bills aimed at curtailing the power of the biggest tech companies. The invoices follow a panel investigation which found that Amazon, Apple, Facebook and Google hold monopoly power.
Big tech companies or the industry groups they fund, including Chamber of Progress, have publicly opposed the bills, saying they will fundamentally change the services users have come to rely on. According to the new poll, this is a scenario voters would oppose.
Overall, survey respondents did not put technology regulation at the top of their list of concerns for Congress. On a list of priorities that included the economy, public health, climate change and infrastructure, 44% of those polled ranked the regulations of tech companies last on the list of topics for Congress to deal with.
Before seeing specific examples of how big tech platforms are expected to change their services, 53% of those polled said they were at least somewhat supporting Congress in passing legislation to impose new regulations on companies. companies like Amazon, Apple, Facebook and Google.
But when given specific examples of how companies might have to change their offerings under the bills, more respondents said they would oppose it. For example, when presented with the possibility that Amazon could be prevented from offering free shipping on certain Amazon Prime products, only 15% said they would still support such legislation, 17% said it didn’t ‘would have no impact on their thinking, 9% said they didn’t know or had no opinion and 59% said it would make them at least a little more likely to oppose the bill.
Two of the bills introduced by a bipartisan group of lawmakers earlier this month could have the biggest structural impact on tech platforms. The American Choice and Innovation Online Act would prevent dominant platforms from prioritizing their own services over competitors who use their marketplaces, while the Ending Platform Monopolies Act would prohibit these platforms from owning conflicting industries. of interest. This poses an obvious threat to companies like Amazon and Apple, which operate marketplaces where they also offer products.
After being confronted with other possible implications of the bills, such as banning Google from showing Google Maps in its top search results or banning Apple from pre-installing certain apps, 39% said that ‘they would still support such legislation at least somewhat. Democrats and Republicans were more likely to oppose the bills after being presented with the scenarios.
Morning Consult polled nearly 2,000 registered voters Thursday through Monday on a series of questions about technology regulation. He gave a margin of error of +/- 2%. Of the group, 40% identified as Democrats, 34% as Republicans and 26% as independents.
Respondents were slightly older, 36% being 45 years of age and over, and only 19% earned more than $ 100,000 in annual income.
Chamber of Progress identifies itself as a center-left group.
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