Fear of losing Amazon Prime sparks skepticism over proposed antitrust bill: industry poll
JThe public is hesitant to support bipartisan antitrust legislation intended to rein in Big Tech for fear of losing Amazon Prime free shipping.
Democrats critical of big business and conservatives worried about censorship are pushing to pass the US Online Innovation and Choice Act and the Open Applications Marketplace Act to curb big tech. Still, the public is worried about the possible repercussions of both bills, according to new polling data from tech trade group Chamber of Progress and Morning Consult.
Consumers were most concerned about losing Amazon Prime and its free shipping on certain products. According to the data sent to Washington Examiner.
The American Innovation and Choice Online Act would authorize the Federal Trade Commission and the Department of Justice to prevent the biggest companies from unfairly favoring their own products on their platforms. Amazon argues that the law would end its Prime services, but the sponsors of Bill Sens. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) and Chuck Grassley (R-IA) say that claim is a bluff.
Some players in the tech industry are warning that the legislation could prevent platforms from moderating their own content. Section 3(a)(3) of the Klobuchar-Grassley Bill prohibits Covered Platforms from “discriminating in the application or performance of the Covered Platform’s terms of service among business users located in the same situation in a way that would materially harm competition.”
This position would seem contrary to the public interest, since the majority of respondents supported tech companies with some form of content moderation policy. Sixty-seven percent of respondents said platforms such as YouTube, Facebook and Apple should have the ability to remove “hate speech, violence, bullying and suicidal content” from the platform . Only 20% of respondents said platforms should be required to deliver all forms of content.
Opinions on companies’ content moderation policies have been shaped by political affiliation. Sixty-one percent of Democrats said tech companies weren’t doing enough to remove harmful content, compared to 39% of Republicans. “The tech antitrust bill has a content moderation problem, especially among Democratic voters and lawmakers,” said House of Progress CEO Adam Kovacevich. Washington Examiner. “People want social media to remove harmful content, so legislation that opens up platforms to hate speech and violence is going to meet resistance.”
The Open App Markets Act, which left the Senate Judiciary Committee in March, would allow app developers to sell their products to consumers without the specific restrictions or transaction fees that app stores implement and allow. transactions within the application without having to go through the Platform.
Conservatives have had mixed responses to the bills proposed by Klobuchar and Grassley. A coalition of conservative organizations led by the Internet Accountability Project filed a letter Thursday saying the legislation would help curb Big Tech’s power over the economy. A separate group, led by Americans for Tax Reform, argued in a July 19 letter to Congress that the Klobuchar-Grassley bill expands the size of government, exacerbates inflation and offers no meaningful response to the concerns of conservatives regarding Big Tech’s content moderation policies.