New report finds majority of Americans support merger moratorium
Nearly 60 percent of Americans would support a moratorium on mergers for the country’s biggest companies during the coronavirus pandemic, according to a report released Tuesday.
The poll, conducted by Data for Progress and released in a report with the Justice Collaborative Institute, found that 57 percent of the likely voters surveyed would support a pandemic merger and acquisition ban for companies worth more than $100 million.
Only 19 percent of those surveyed opposed, while 24 percent said they were unsure.
The merger moratorium poll comes after a bill introduced by Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) earlier this year.
The Pandemic Anti-Monopoly Act has yet to advance from committees in either chamber, but has gained support from progressive groups and lawmakers, including Rep. Jesús “Chuy” García (D-lll.).
“People know when they’re getting ripped off,” García said of the poll’s results during an event hosted by The Appeal and Now This Tuesday. “They know that their wages have not kept up with inflation.”
Zephyr Teachout, a Fordham Law School professor and proponent of breaking up monopolies, said “this polling is so important – it shows people are way ahead of politicians.”
“You unfortunately don’t see a lot of politicians talking about anti-monopolies … it hasn’t been a big part of our conversation,” she continued.
Other efforts to place a moratorium on mergers during the coronavirus pandemic have also failed.
Rep. David Cicilline (D-R.I.), chairman of the House Judiciary antitrust subcommittee, pushed for a merger pause in the second coronavirus relief package passed by the House but was unsuccessful.
Tuesday’s poll suggests that despite those previous failures, a moratorium may be possible down the line, especially if Democrats are able to wrestle control of both chambers of Congress.
Data for Progress surveyed 1,225 likely voters on July 17 using web panel correspondents. The sample was weighted to account for age, gender, education, race, and voting history. The margin of error is 2.8 percent.
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