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Surprise! The Big Tech antitrust hearing was a PR boost for Amazon, Facebook, Google, and Apple

There’s no such thing as bad PR when it comes to tech giants.

Surprise! The Big Tech antitrust hearing was a PR boost for Amazon, Facebook, Google, and Apple
[Photo: Graeme Jennings-Pool/Getty Images]

Last week’s dramatic Big Tech hearing by the House Judiciary’s antitrust subcommittee gave a surprising PR boost to the companies that took part.

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According to a new survey conducted by Harris Poll for Fast Company, nearly half of 18- to 34-year-olds said their perception of tech giants improved due to news about the antitrust hearings, in which the CEOs of Apple, Facebook, Amazon, and Alphabet were grilled on Capitol Hill. In that same age group, 63% said that their usage of the companies’ products and services increased. This is unexpected given some of the brutal questioning tactics used during the hearings and some of the juicy company emails that were revealed. (The emails revealed much more than the executives.)

But overall, Americans are still extremely uncomfortable with the Big Four’s business models, which are built on the backs of user data. Though nearly all Americans (86%) use services like Amazon.com and Instagram, and 75% access them daily, only 9% feel that it is “completely worth it” to give up the personal demographic and preferences information that those companies sell to marketers.

The survey of 1,020 American adults was conducted on July 31, two days after the hearing.

As for the question on the table at the antitrust hearings, the country is thoroughly divided over whether Big Tech should be broken up:

  • 41% say that the government should break up some or all, over concerns of too much control over the market and personal data, as well as limited competition.
  • 30% are not sure.
  • 29% say the government should not break them up.

Next up, the subcommittee will release a report, and all four companies reportedly face antitrust probes from the Justice Department and state attorneys general.

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