As Congress considers enacting stringent antitrust laws that target five of the biggest technology companies, including Amazon, a new study asks consumers whether they approve of such legislative and regulatory measures. The American Consumer Institute’s (ACI) report, The Online Shopping Paradox, asked 1,012 consumers about their online shopping experience, the extent to which they use Amazon services, their satisfaction with Prime services, and whether they would agree with legislative and regulatory efforts to restrict Amazon’s online retail presence.
- Out of fifteen online shopping websites, Amazon was the most popular platform for online shopping, accounting for 88% of respondents, while Walmart was second with 66% and Target was third with 43%. The average respondent used five different online services in the past year, suggesting that consumers are shopping and choosing among various competitors.
- 97% of respondents said they were either somewhat satisfied or very satisfied with Amazon Prime services, citing convenience, free shipping and price, among the reasons.
- While 22% of respondents strongly agreed with the statement that “Amazon is too big,” 52% of respondents either opposed or strongly opposed “breaking up Amazon into smaller companies” and 62% opposed legislation or regulations that “could eliminate” their Prime services. These results were consistent across political parties.
Based on these findings, the policy implications suggest that congressional efforts to increase antitrust regulation for Amazon services are not aligned with consumer sentiment and are not in the public’s interest. Given that consumers significantly benefit from lower-priced products and services provided by these platforms, the timing of these efforts could not come at a worse time, as consumers face high inflation.
As elections approach, Congress should pay careful attention to issues that consumers and voters care about, like inflation, and not destroy the competitive online marketplace that offers consumers more options at lower prices.