ALEXANDRIA, Va., March 8, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- When it comes to accessing the Internet, adults across America feel they have many options, and are strongly opposed to government regulation of online search functions. Those are the primary findings of an IBOPE Zogby International poll commissioned by the National Taxpayers Union (NTU), a nonpartisan citizen group. The poll covered 2,007 U.S. adults, across a wide range of demographics, with a margin of error of +/- 2.2 percentage points.
NTU Executive Vice President Pete Sepp said, "These poll results could not speak more clearly: across numerous demographic categories, Americans firmly believe the marketplace for finding information online is highly competitive; and the skepticism they've voiced over government intervention in this marketplace should serve as a warning against current, burdensome federal investigations of online search practices."
Among the poll's findings:
87 percent agreed with the statement "I feel I can easily switch to a competing search engine if I'm not happy with the results I receive."
Respondents were then asked whether "the federal government should regulate the content and appearance of search engines and their results." A whopping 79 percent strongly or somewhat disagreed with this idea, compared to 12 percent who strongly or somewhat agreed. The depth of opposition was striking – 64 percent strongly disagreed versus just 3 percent who strongly agreed.
Participants were presented with arguments about more enforcement of federal antitrust laws, and then asked to choose which statement was most true. A massive 76 percent agreed that "More government involvement and regulation will make the Internet worse for consumers," while just 8 percent thought that such involvement and regulation "will make the Internet better for consumers."
Skepticism over government involvement extended across ideological groups as self-identified liberals and Democrats expressed opposition to both search engine regulation and increased antitrust enforcement by roughly 3 to 1 margins.
The 362,000-member NTU is a leading grassroots participant in the antitrust debate, advocating policies that stress consumer freedom, private-sector innovation, and limited government involvement. Note: Highlights from the poll are available at www.ntu.org; full data and interviews are available on request.