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Most Americans don’t support breaking up big tech companies like Apple

New research by Grail Insights suggests that while “Break Up Big Tech” is a red hot political topic, consumers don’t agree. The strategic insights consultancy conducted a survey of 1,000 U.S. consumers to find out how people feel about some of the practices and behaviors of six tech giants: Apple, Facebook, Google, Amazon, Microsoft, and Uber.

Americans are concerned about how these companies handle personal information and how their size and influence limits competition and innovation. For example, 71% are concerned about how Facebook handles personal data. 49% say Amazon intentionally stifles competition and 41% say the same about Apple. 

However, even though Americans have concerns, most do not support breaking up these companies. When asked their level of agreement with the statement: “Because of the way Facebook limits competition and uses personal information, government should break up Facebook,” only 34% agreed.

In second place was Google with 25% agreeing that government should break it up, followed closely by Amazon at 24%, Uber and Apple at 22%, and Microsoft at 20%.

While people were generally averse to break-ups, they were more likely to agree that “government should regulate” Big Tech. Appetite for regulation was, on average, more than 10 percentage points higher than willingness to break up these companies.

With respect to breaks-ups, there were no significant differences between those who identify politically as Democrats, Republicans or Independents.

One problem with the “Break Up Big Tech” movement is that there are too many conflated arguments, according to Grail Insights. It leaves people unclear about exactly what they should be outraged about. Another challenge to getting the public behind the movement is that companies like Google and Amazon are ubiquitous. People may not like their practices, but they can’t do without the benefits these companies bring to their lives.

Find out more about Grail Insight’s study here.

Dennis Sellers
the authorDennis Sellers
Dennis Sellers is the editor/publisher of Apple World Today. He’s been an “Apple journalist” since 1995 (starting with the first big Apple news site, MacCentral). He loves to read, run, play sports, and watch movies.