Pro Choice, Antitrust?

Antitrust is an abstract topic. But it becomes much more real when Americans start thinking about specific industries or where they see a lack of choice in their neighborhoods.

In wake of recent antitrust proposals from Senators Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) and Josh Hawley (R-MO), we asked our insight community TrendSpotters for their take on the ideas and issues at stake. 

We heard:

  • Republicans are frustrated by a perceived lack of diversity in the media landscape –not just social media companies they see censoring conservative voices, but TV networks they view as pushing a liberal agenda. 
  • Democrats’ starting point is frustration toward the pharma and health care industries.
  • Anxieties around “utilities” – covering electricity and gas as well as internet service and cable providers – are raised unaided by Republicans and Democrats, who often see only one choice in their community. In the wake of the pandemic, an ISP is now seen as an essential utility.
  • Alongside concerns about consolidation in retail and the power of Amazon and Walmart, a few participants raise worries about consolidation in food, farming and restaurants – with fewer choices and bigger players.

The battle lines of antitrust fall on partisan lines. But some Republicans express hostility toward Big Business as well as Big Government. And views are more mixed when it comes to the proposal for companies needing to prove their deal won’t hurt competition – as opposed to the onus being on regulators to make the case.

TrendSpotters is FGH’s proprietary research tool comprising over 300 engaged voters nationwide who follow the news and politics and are civically engaged. Dig deeper here.