Scoop: Polls show support for tech antitrust action

About half of Americans of both parties back the Justice Department’s antitrust lawsuit against Google, while fewer than a third oppose it, according to a new poll from progressive groups Demand Progress and Data for Progress shared exclusively with Axios.

  • Meanwhile, a separate Harris Poll survey, also shared first with Axios, similarly finds Americans overwhelmingly see the big tech companies as having monopoly power that limits competition.

Why it matters: There’s a growing pile of evidence that regulatory action against Big Tech has bipartisan support, as state and federal antitrust regulators move against companies like Google and Facebook.

  • While there are many party-line splits on tech policy issues like content moderation, privacy and misinformation, more policymakers and average Americans than ever agree tech is too big and powerful.

Reality check: It’s tough for the government to win antitrust suits or pass new antitrust legislation.

By the numbers: In an online survey of 979 likely voters polled by Demand Progress and the Demand Progress Education Fund from Oct. 24–25 (with a margin of error of +-3.1 percentage points), 48% said they strongly or somewhat support the DOJ’s lawsuit. 32% strongly or somewhat oppose it.

  • The numbers were fairly consistent across both parties, with 52% of Republicans supporting the suit, compared to 49% of Democrats. 26% of Republicans polled opposed it, while 32% of Democrats did.

In the Harris Poll, nearly three quarters (74%) of Americans said Amazon, Apple, Facebook and Google have a monopoly in their respective sectors that limits competition and innovation, with men slightly more likely than women to agree with that conclusion.

Yes, but: People were less ready to single out particular companies as needing breaking up.

  • Facebook was the most targeted company on that front, with 45% of respondents saying it should be split up.
  • 37% thought so about Amazon. Even smaller numbers called for the break-ups of Apple (29%), Twitter (28%) and Microsoft (27%).