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67 percent of Americans believe big tech companies have behaved anticompetitively

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Campaign politics are already heating up, even if the next presidential election is more than a year away.

That means more than a year of public opinion polls on a variety of issues – some more important than others – and presidential hopefuls responding and likely adjusting their campaign politics accordingly.

A report from The Hill reveals the results of one such poll – from Harvard CAPS/Harris, that the outlet said it had exclusive access to.

And antitrust concerns when it comes to Big Tech seem to be of paramount importance to the average US consumer, according to the poll results: with 68 percent saying companies like Facebook and Google have been “building products and offering services with the goal of maximizing their profits and accumulating market power” – and have that to thank for the fact they have emerged as industry leaders.

That doesn’t seem to be much different from any other company growing in the capitalist market place. At the same time, the appeal and the ultimate unprecedented success of tech giants is likely to have its roots somewhat deeper than simply competing, and managing to stifle any competition along the way, as the survey suggests.

However, according to The Hill report – antitrust behavior is the most egregious feature of the likes of Amazon, Facebook, Apple, and Google. The poll – whose full results will be published later this week – suggests that 67 percent of those who participated agreed with this notion, saying that these companies “have taken steps to reduce competition in the market.”

On the other hand, the remaining third of respondents expressed no such concern, saying they thought the giants were, by and large, complying with antitrust laws.

As for presidential candidates who have chosen to make the Big Tech antitrust issue their own – the report notes that “at least two Democrats” – namely, Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders – want to fix the problem by breaking up the giants – on anti-competitive grounds.

The Hill report offers no insight into the policies of Republican candidates when it comes to this issue.

The Harvard CAPS/Harris survey also suggests that 71 percent of respondents backed the US Justice Department’s “examination” of tech giants.

But when all’s said and done, the poll showed that “more than two-thirds said the services they (tech giants) offer ultimately help consumers” – while 63 percent said the likes of Amazon and Google were “helping innovation in the US economy,” the report said.

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