Since progressive ideologue Lina Khan was appointed to chair President Joe Biden’s Federal Trade Commission in 2021, antitrust policy wonks have long anticipated her to launch a lawsuit against Amazon, considering the company was a main target of her academic work. In September, Khan used her position to launch this political attack, sidelining the facts and Americans’ support of the service. NetChoice’s latest polling, conducted by Echelon Insights, shows just how much pursuing this agenda will further erode the Biden administration’s public support.
The first finding is unsurprising, considering how much data already exists supporting this fact: Americans love the services that Amazon provides to them. 72% of respondents said low prices are important when they determine which retailers to buy from while shopping online, and they see Amazon as a reliable marketplace providing such benefits. Timely delivery and convenience are essential components of Amazon Prime and are also incredibly important to voters. If a company failed to meet or was forced not to follow these principles, consumer trust would quickly decline, according to the survey. Amazon is contributing a valuable need to the retail ecosystem, and voters are conscious of the company’s benefits to them.
Voters additionally recognize that Amazon’s marketplace serves small businesses and connects them to new sellers they wouldn’t have found otherwise. 78% of respondents noted that selling on Amazon has a positive impact on small businesses. This number increased to 83% for conservatives and 79% for suburbanites.
The next finding should be a red flag to President Biden and all politicians: voters do not like that the FTC under Biden is targeting Amazon Prime’s services. 75% agreed with the statement, “Amazon makes my life easier, and I would be angry if the government broke them up.” This number rose to 82% for conservatives and 76% for suburbanites. Similarly, 86% of conservatives said they’d be concerned about the FTC’s actions harming Prime benefits, and 75% said losing access to their Amazon Prime benefits would give them doubts about the FTC effectively protecting consumers.
Most importantly, voters opposed a core outcome of the FTC’s lawsuit if it is ultimately successful—Amazon could be forced to show higher prices and decrease the reliability of its delivery services. They understand that the FTC’s actions under Biden will negatively impact their power as consumers in the market, and a plurality of voters said they would be less likely to vote for candidates that support these efforts.
Finally, Americans want Congress to conduct more oversight of the FTC. Only 21% of total respondents and 19% of suburbanites approve of Lina Khan’s job performance as Chair of the FTC. They understand that her progressive ideology seeks to undermine their power and welfare in the marketplace, and they don’t like it. 66% of respondents said they “support” Congress providing more oversight of the FTC, with 27% of conservatives saying they “strongly support” this idea. On this front, there have been several commendable efforts by Republicans, led by House Judiciary Chairman Jim Jordan and House Energy & Commerce Chair Cathy McMorris Rodgers. They should keep up their efforts and ensure the FTC is held accountable for devaluing American consumers.
Under Biden, U.S. antitrust regulators have shifted away from evaluating consumer benefits toward an approach that prioritizes competitors’ preferences (who, as I have previously written, have a financial interest in undermining their competitors). This is harming American economic dominance. Worse yet, the President’s bureaucrats are colluding with European politicians, whose approach has undermined the innovation and success of the continent’s businesses.
American voters don’t like losing economic power and influence for themselves and their businesses, and politicians should not support or facilitate this effort.
Find NetChoice’s October 2023 polling with Echelon Insights here.
Source: NetChoice & Echelon Insights – FTC/Amazon Lawsuit – Fall 2023 Survey. N=1,033, Registered Voters in the Likely Electorate, Nationally. Mode: Online, voter-file matched. Field Dates: October 4-5, 2023. Margin of Error: ± 3.7 percentage points.